European aerospace coatings customers of PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) visited a seminar in Marly, France, to listen to the company’s technical experts discuss the benefits of AEROCRON(TM) electrocoat primer.
Representatives from leading aerospace companies also witnessed the operation of a pilot e-coat system at PPG’s Marly coatings research centre and an automotive production tank.
The two-day event supported PPG’s continuing efforts to educate customers about the environmental, productivity, application and performance benefits of AEROCRON electrocoat primer technology for the aerospace industry, according to PPG coatings segment manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Daniel Bencun.
"Aerospace customers see large potential for PPG electrocoat technology for tier-one suppliers and directly with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers)," Bencun said.
"They see it as eco-friendly and as a replacement for chromated primers, while enhancing corrosion resistance and providing nearly 100% utilisation. We are working closely with customers so that they have the knowledge they need to be confident in their ability to benefit from this game-changing technology."
In the electrocoating process, metal aircraft parts are dipped into an electrically charged tank of AEROCRON primer. Historically sprayed onto metal parts, primer affords corrosion resistance and enhances topcoat adhesion. The water-based, chromate-free electrocoat primer produces near-zero waste and the application process can be fully automated.
Customers in various stages of electrocoat process implementation shared their first-hand accounts at the seminar, Bencun added.
The technical director of a parts coater operating a pilot tank described AEROCRON primer benefits, especially process efficiency and environmental aspects. The results of tests done on AEROCRON primer as a chromate-free technology alternative were discussed by the representative of an aerospace systems supplier, while two aerospace company officials talked about the company’s potential financial investment in the process, as well as product performance.
PPG research associate at the company’s Coatings Innovation Centre in Allison Park, Pennsylvania,Robin Peffer, described PPG’s work to adapt e-coat technology for aerospace use, including application at lower bake temperatures and being able to withstand the rapidly changing environment during flight.
Bencun told attendees that they have the ability to drive change within the aerospace industry. "I ask our customers to be part of the adventure as game changers and drivers of this new technology," he said.
PPG plans to hold similar seminars in other regions.
Electrocoating, also called electrodeposition coating and commonly referred to as e-coat, uses electrical currents to apply a coating to a conductive substrate submerged in a water-based paint bath. The process can be fully automated.
After pretreatment, a part enters an electrocoat bath where a charge is applied and the amount of primer needed is deposited onto it. Once coated, the part is rinsed to remove any residual primer, and then it is baked at a temperature that accommodates the aviation industry’s unique needs. AEROCRON primer is fully cured in around 30 minutes.
AEROCRON electrocoat primer is water-based for low solvent emissions. Compared with conventional spray priming, e-coat provides increased productivity and efficiency, affording nearly 100% utilisation and no overspray. Also, the e-coat process produces minimal waste because it returns rinses to the electrocoat bath.
Additionally, e-coat provides uniform primer application, even in recessed areas, which results in excellent corrosion protection and durability. Only the amount of primer needed is deposited onto the metal surface, which results in the thinnest coating required and minimises the weight of the finished part,