Tech

March 24, 2014

Self-healing paint could halt rust on military vehicles

A new additive could help military vehicles, including the Marine Corps variant of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, heal like human skin and avoid costly maintenance as a result of corrosion.

Developed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in partnership with the Office of Naval Research, polyfibroblast allows scratches forming in vehicle paint to scar and heal before the effects of corrosion ever reach the metal beneath.

“Corrosion costs the Department of the Navy billions of dollars each year,” said Marine Capt. Frank Furman, who manages logistics research programs for ONR’s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department. “This technology could cut maintenance costs, and, more importantly, it could increase the time vehicles are out in the field with our Marines.”

Polyfibroblast is a powder that can be added to commercial-off-the-shelf paint primers. It is made up of microscopic polymer spheres filled with an oily liquid. When scratched, resin from the broken capsules forms a waxy, water-repellant coating across the exposed steel that protects against corrosion.

While many self-healing paints are designed solely for cosmetic purposes, polyfibroblast is being engineered specifically for tactical vehicles used in a variety of harsh environments.

“We don’t care if it’s pretty,” said Dr. Jason Benkoski, senior scientist at the university lab and lead researcher on the project. “We only care about preventing corrosion.”

From rainstorms to sunlight, tactical vehicles face constant corrosion threats from the elements. Corrosion costs the Department of the Navy about $7 billion each year. About $500 million of that is the result of corrosion to Marine Corps ground vehicles, according to the most recent Department of Defense reports.

Vehicles transported and stored on ships also are subject to salt spray from the ocean, a leading cause of problems for military hardware. In one laboratory experiment, polyfibroblast showed it could prevent rusting for six weeks inside a chamber filled with salt fog.

“We are still looking into how to make this additive even more effective, but initial results like that are encouraging,” said Scott Rideout, deputy program manager, Light Tactical Vehicles, Program Executive Officer (PEO) Land Systems, which is overseeing continued development on polyfibroblast for potential use on the Marine Corps variant of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. “Carry that out of the lab and into the inventory, and that translates to improved readiness and big savings.”

The research and development of polyfibroblast underscores the Marine Corps’ commitment to be “modernized with equipment and logistics that expand expeditionary capability and preserve our ability to operate from the sea” as stated in the Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025.

Development of polyfibroblast began in 2008 and continued through the succession of three ONR program managers, eventually culminating in promising field and lab tests and a transition to PEO Land Systems.

“To go from nothing to deployment in five years would be quite extraordinary,” Benkoski said. “This progress has a lot to do with ONR’s close relationship with PEO Land Systems and both organizations’ willingness to let me carry out the research in accordance with our shared vision.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>