A new range of special-effect coatings, which provide aircraft-livery designers with ‘an exciting and unprecedented choice’ of colours and finishes, is available from Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings (ANAC).
Designers can select from Mica-based paints offering ‘coarse effect,’ ‘fine effect,’ ‘super-sparkle effect’ and ‘Interference effect’ (changing according to the angle they are looked at) finishes in a huge range of colours, including metallic looks. There are two ranges with identical end results, one with approval by Boeing and one by Airbus. Special colours to match corporate identities can be supplied quickly, even in small quantities.
ANAC’s special-effect paints are made from the highest-quality raw materials to ensure the selected finish remains as good as when it is first applied. The ‘high solids’ formulae mean the coatings emit minimal amounts of harmful solvents and need fewer coats to achieve the desired effect, thus both cutting time and labour costs, and meeting the standards of the most stringent health and safety regimes.
Because methods of application and operational conditions can affect any coating, the company offers a full technical support and advice service to designers to make sure that the desired design-effect translates from the drawing board to the runway.
This begins with understanding of what an airline’s marketing team and livery designers want to achieve, and advising on the best colours and finishes to create the expected effect. By supplying actual samples of the chosen coatings, designers can check the appearance of the paints in different lights, from full daylight to dusk and artificial light.
ANAC’s technical skills are used to specify the best and most-efficient application process, and advise on touch-up, repair, maintenance and other considerations. Once the whole package is approved, ANAC will then take responsibility for following the process through by contacting the aircraft manufacturer and the contracted airline maintenance-facility to match the product specification to the company’s own working standards and practice.
On-site technical support, which is available anywhere in the world, makes sure that the whole process is closely monitored, and any problems or queries quickly resolved.
Akzo Nobel Aeospace Coatings have supplied special-effect paints for many of the world’s airlines, including Gulf Air, Aeroflot, Northwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Thai Airways.
"As part of the world’s largest coatings business, we are fortunate to have access to the industry’s most advanced and innovative technical development programmes – we were the first to market high-solids special-effect airlines paints," explained Product Manager Robert Van Kooperen. "We share in the benefits of coatings technology developed for use on structures as diverse as sports stadia, oil installations, ships and bridges, where coatings have to stand up to some of the toughest environments as well as offering long-lasting cosmetic finishes that meet the highest standards set by designers and architects."
The company is already working on some new special-effect products: "There are some exciting and completely new finishes being tested in our laboratories now which will be another first in aerospace coatings," Robert added. "Designers can expect even more from ANAC in the future."