U.S.-based AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings, a division of International Paints, has reported qualification of one of its base-coat products to the Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) standard, which governs the use of metals for aircraft manufacture and MRO.
PPG Industries’ aerospace business has introduced a chromate-free coating that, according to the Pittsburgh-based coatings specialist, “reduces environmental impact, lowers aircraft weight and provides a smooth, glossy and highly durable finish.”
Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings has introduced a full line of primers that are free of chrome and lead hazards. The products meet three key industry requirements–faster priming application, protection of the aircraft substrate and compliance with OSHA standards for chromate and lead exposure.
There are those unsung workers whose skills are underrated and whose work may go unappreciated, or at best is taken for granted. So it is with those who paint business airplanes. It’s a sometimes nasty, often physically demanding, always labor-intensive job that requires a knowledge of chemistry and the soul of an artist.
Exterior paint has always been a statement. In ancient times, sailors painted eyes on the bows of ships so they might find their way easily. Even today, it is a custom Chinese boat builders still follow. During World War II, “nose art” was common on military aircraft. Perhaps the best known was the Memphis Belle, a B-17 that bore the name and a scantily clad image of the belle herself.
There is no airplane so beautiful that a good paint job won’t help it look even better, maybe a lot better. So says Jim Burress, manager of Landmark Aviation’s paint department in Springfield, Ill., and veteran of more than 28 years in the business.