Low-to-No VOC "Chromium-Free, Permanent Primer" (CFPP) Coating

EPA Contract Number: 68D03025
Title: Low-to-No VOC "Chromium-Free, Permanent Primer" (CFPP) Coating
Investigators: Kovar, Robert F.
Small Business: Foster-Miller Inc.
EPA Contact: Klieforth, Barbara I
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2003 through September 1, 2003
Project Amount: $69,988
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2003) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , SBIR - Nanotechnology , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Current aircraft coating systems consist of a top coat, chromated primer, and conversion coating, and typically are used for a maximum of only 6 years due mainly to decreased top coat performance. The entire coating system is removed by sanding or media-blasting down to bare metal, and an entirely new coating system is reapplied. This is primarily done because no method for selectively stripping the top coat without damaging or removing the primer layer and underlying conversion coating has been available.

Foster-Miller, Inc., proposes to develop a 30+ year, chromium-free permanent primer (CFPP) aircraft coating system composed of an abrasion-resistant, self-stratifying primer that is placed below and will work effectively with conventional top coats. The CFPP will be designed to exhibit significant abrasion resistance compared to the top coat, and both chemically and mechanically bond to the conversion coat and top coat, resulting in a highly delamination-resistant coating system. When the top coat requires replacement, it can be selectively stripped off, leaving the primer and conversion coating intact. Foster-Miller, Inc.'s CFPP avoids the hazards and expense of reapplying both the primer and conversion coating, thereby significantly reducing (by approximately 80 percent) the number of coating application/removal steps during the 30+ year mission lifetime of the aircraft. In addition, the proposed CFPP will have low volatile organic compound (VOC) content and utilize environmentally compliant chrome alternatives for corrosion protection.

In Phase I, a CFPP will be formulated using previously developed Foster-Miller primer technology modified through the addition of state-of-the-art adhesion-promoting additives, nonchrome corrosion inhibitors, and possibly reactive diluents to mitigate the negative environmental impact that occurs during removal and application processes. Coated panels will be analyzed for key performance properties such as abrasion, delamination, solvent, and corrosion resistance. Selective stripping of a conventional top coat from the CFPP layer also will be demonstrated.

A commercial coating/paint manufacturing company with a proprietary nonchrome corrosion inhibitor, an aircraft coating removal company, and an aircraft manufacturer specifically have been included on Foster-Miller, Inc.'s team to allow for a realistic evaluation and smooth transition of the CFPP technology into the commercial sector. The enhanced environmental protection, improved performance, and low mission lifetime cost of the proposed CFPP low VOC (< 200 g/L) aircraft protective coating system will encourage its immediate acceptance in military and civilian aircraft, ships, automobiles, building structures, and industrial equipment. Cost savings will be realized due to the reduction in expenses associated with repeated coating system removal/application, worker protection, worksite environmental quality and clean up, and waste disposal.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, volatile organic compound, VOC, coating system, chromium-free permanent primer, CFPP, paint, aircraft, ships, automobiles, building structures, industrial equipment, EPA., Scientific Discipline, Air, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, air toxics, Air Pollutants, Environmental Chemistry, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Engineering, pollution prevention, emission control strategies, environmentally safe coating, cleaner production, environmentally friendly technology, aircraft coating system, emission controls, low emissions , emissions control, coating processes, environmentally benign coatings, no VOC automotive coating, chromium free permanent primer, air pollution control technology, hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), innovative technology, baking enamels, low VOC coatings, alternative coatings, air emissions

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report