An advanced-technology aerospace-coatings system has been developed by Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings (ANAC) for the A380 superjumbo.
The paint, a second-generation selectively-removable system from Akzo Nobel, enables the topcoat alone to be quickly removed during maintenance, cutting downtime by up to 40% by avoiding the need to strip to bare metal.
The system has been approved by Airbus Industries for use on the massive Airbus A380, and the first aircraft to be coated with the new product left its hangar in Hamburg, Germany, last week.
Removing coatings from aircraft during maintenance is usually an expensive and time-consuming process. Specifically designed to reduce the time it takes to prepare and repaint aircraft, the ‘secret’ of the new system is an extra layer between the primer and the topcoat.
This intermediate coating enables the selective chemical-removal of the topcoat only in preparation for repainting, avoiding the need to reapply the primer and so saving time and money.
Big enough to accommodate 555 people on two decks, the A380 has a wingspan of nearly 70 metres. Every single A380 uses some ANAC coatings.
"The A380 is truly amazing, and we are proud to be making such a vital contribution to one of the world’s biggest and most technologically-advanced commercial aircraft," said Akzo Nobel’s CEO, Hans Wijers, who is also the company’s board member responsible for coatings. "As a global leader in aerospace coatings we have a long history of developing groundbreaking products designed to offer customers exceptional quality and performance."
"We have been working closely with Airbus during the development of this high-performance system, and the technical achievements involved in this and all other aspects of the A380 project have been remarkable," added Bill McPherson, General Manager of the business unit Marine and Protective Coatings, which includes the ANAC activities.
"We are one of a small number of companies approved to supply its exterior coatings, and we supply structural coatings for all Airbus aircraft, which means we are at the forefront of helping to redefine passenger air travel for the 21st century."