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 July 7, 2015

News: F-35 loses dogfight to fighter jet from 1980s – A new report alleges that an F-35A was defeated by the very aircraft it is meant to replace.   Business: South Korea selects Airbus for $1.33 billion tanker contract – European aerospace giant Airbus won a $1.33 billion deal June 30 to supply air refueling...
 
 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph

Boeing, Embraer to collaborate on ecoDemonstrator technology tests

U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph Frederico Curado, president & CEO of Embraer, and Marc Allen, president of Boeing International, at the Brazil-U.S. Business Summit in Washington, D.C. The event occurred during an offici...
 
 
Untitled-2

Tactical reconnaissance vehicle project eyes hoverbike for defense

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, has been exploring the tactical reconnaissance vehicle, or TRV, concept for nearly nine months and is evaluating the hoverbike technology as a way to get Soldiers away from ground thre...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton

Upgraded AWACS platform tested at Northern Edge

Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton Maintenance crew members prepare an E-3G Sentry (AWACS) for takeoff during exercise Northern Edge June 25, 2015. Roughly 6,000 airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen ...
 
 
LM-Legion

Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod™ takes to skies

Lockheed Martin photograph by Randy Crites Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod recently completed its first flight test, successfully tracking multiple airborne targets while flying on an F-16 in Fort Worth, Texas. Legion Pod was in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson

First Marine graduates Air Force’s F-35 intelligence course

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson Marine Corps 1st Lt. Samuel Winsted, an F-35B Lightning II intelligence officer, provides a mock intelligence briefing to two instructors during the F-35 Intelligence Formal Train...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>