SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N102-146 (Navy)
Title:  Field powder coating application
Research & Technical Areas:  Materials/Processes

Acquisition Program:  Radar Restoration, OMN, PE s/b 0702228N
  Objective:  Develop a Powder Coating material, process of application, and prototype applicator that can be used aboard ship for in place application to apertures and similar topside metal fixtures.
  Description:  Two critical areas for successful field powder coating are (1) environmentally robust application techniques and (2) field curing technology and coating formulation. While commercially available technology can deliver and deposit powder to a metal surface, the spray pattern and over spray are unsuitable and impossible to direct in any but a controlled environment. Innovative techniques are required to allow the operator to keep the powder close to the substrate without allowing the electrodes to get close enough to cause arcing to a grounded substrate. Field application studies involving resin, catalyst and additives to optimize performance, and Nanotechnology need to be conducted and coating formulas will need to be developed and evaluated for suitability with the application techniques which minimize or eliminate current controlled substrate preheating requirements. Field curing technology and coating formulation of superior corrosion performance coatings must be developed and evaluated for field application.

  PHASE I: Analyze and research current powder formulation technology to develop a powder coating formula to optimize anti-corrosive performance in harsh, marine environments for maximum life-cycle extension of treated assets. Experiment with various powder formulations to determine effectiveness for use with Governmental field application. Via analysis determine application process, recommend appropriate materials, and design a prototype to accomplish application for ship board in place application of the selected powder coating (s).
  PHASE II: Develop and validate a prototype powder coating, Field Application process, and Curing system for repair of small areas. Develop appropriate manufacturing technology for producing uniform consistent product as well as developing capability for manufacture of the application technology for Governmental and commercial use.

  PHASE III: Transition the Phase II technology to Navy in-service radar systems through the Above Water Sensor radar restoration program. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/

  DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: A (mobile) local Powder Coating application can be applied to any metal surface Government or Industry.

  References:   1. MIL-C-5541E - Chemical Conversion Coatings on Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys 2. MIL-A-8625 F - Anodic Coatings for Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys 3. MIL-C-24712A Coatings, Powder

Keywords:  Powder Coating; Application; Field Curing; Plasma; Flame Spray; Localized Cure

Questions and Answers:
Q: 1. RFP infers that the developed powder coating technology will be used in radar restoration program – what are primary target parameters for the coating substrates?
a. Substrate material (aluminum alloys?)
b. Size of the treated area?
c. Is the treated feature 3D or one-dimensional structure?

2. What is the coating thickness of interest? Is it within 50-100 micron range?

3. Is it acceptable to have a step of target area pretreatment (as a part of the field application process) using liquid precursors for depositing a corrosion-resistant precoat layer?

4. Is liquid suspension of nano-particles acceptable as a coat precursor material?

5. What are requirements for coat color and tint?
A: 1.a Primary substrate material is Aluminum 6061
1.b.Size of the treated area is commonly on the order of 1 square inch but may be larger or smaller.
1.c. Radars that need surface repair are typically 3D truss type structures, multiple tubes or struts with multiple connections.

2. Current specific thickness of the primer and two top coats is 9 to 21 mills (0.009 to 0.021 inch). Thinner is okay if it provides the equivalent corrosion protection.

3. It is acceptable to have a pretreatment, keep in mind surfaces most likely will be inclined or even upside down.

4. Liquid suspension on nano-particles is acceptable as a coat precursor material if it works in this application and meets environmental and hazardous material requirements and restrictions.

5. Final color must be Navy Haze Gray.
Q: Is it limited to polymeric/organic coating or any type of coating is acceptable (e.g., aluminum or other metal, ceramics)?
A: Any type of coating is acceptable.
Q: Most spray deposition processes produce plume spray patterns with potential overspray.
1) Is masking considered acceptable for targeting the repair area?
2) Is it acceptable to use auxiliary dust collector duct and hood to capture any overspray powder?
3) Assuming it is necessary to abrade or grit blast the repair area for surface prep, what is the standard equipment used on ships to collect this type of debris?
A: 1) Yes
2) Yes
3) The equipment varies by locations and local environmental code requirements. You shall have some sort of debris containment ie poly sheeting around the prep area, wind blocks etc. provided by the performing activity.

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