Tech

April 18, 2014

AFRL provides environmentally-preferred alternatives for removing radome coatings

Radomes, tail cones, and other fiberglass or composite components on E-3, KC-135, and B-52 aircraft are coated with polyurethane rain erosion resistant coatings to protect them from the effects of rain erosion in flight. Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex (OC-ALC) production workers must remove the coatings during depot overhaul to allow for inspection and repair.
Recent changes in requirements have made the use of the traditional paint remover obsolete. To avoid production impacts, OC-ALC production engineers requested assistance from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Energy and Environment Team.
The E2 Program executes technology engineering, development, and demonstration of environmentally preferable alternative materials and processes to meet user requirements, progress solutions through Technology Readiness Levels, and highlight technology transition activities for Air Force enterprise use.

Research

The E2 program initiated a project to identify, test, demonstrate, and transition suitable alternatives for removing coatings from composite components of the E-3, KC-135, and B-52 aircraft.
The team approached the research problem by:

  • baselining the current depaint process
  • developing a test plan to evaluate alternatives
  • identifying suitable drop-in replacement alternatives
  • conducting lab-scale performance and materials compatibility testing
  • conducting a full-scale field demonstration
  • supporting technology transition activities

Six potential alternative strippers, all benzyl alcohol based, underwent laboratory testing to evaluate effectiveness and effects on the composite material substrates.

Following successful laboratory testing, the team selected four alternatives for field demonstration to verify performance in the depot environment. Side-by-side comparison verified that all four alternatives performed satisfactorily and were considered comparable to the previously used material.

As a result, depot requirements were revised to include all four alternative strippers.

Impact The successful execution of this project helped ensure continued operations and weapon system readiness.
And the outcome can be applied to Department of Defense organizations with similar requirements, allowing for environmentally-preferred alternatives for effective coatings removal.




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


 
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA begins sixth year of airborne Antarctic ice change study

NASA photograph by Michael Studinger NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory is shown in its parking spot on the ramp at the Aeropuerto Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo in Punta Arenas, Chile, after its transit flight from NASA...
 
 
NASA photograph by Patrick Rogers

Scientific balloon launch highlights NASA exhibit at Balloon Fiesta

NASA photograph by Jay Levine Magdi Said, technology manager for NASA’s Scientific Balloon Program office at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, explains elements of NASA’s use of science balloons.   A live t...
 
 
NASA photograph by John Sonntag

Preparing for Antarctic flights in California desert

NASA photograph by John Sonntag The constellation Ursa Major looms over a GPS-equipped survey vehicle and a ground station to its left at El Mirage Dry Lake. By comparing elevation readings from both GPS sources, researchers ca...
 

 
NASA photograph by Tom Tschida

NASA-pioneered Automatic Ground-Collision Avoidance System operational

NASA photograph by Jim Ross The U.S. Air Force’s F-16D Automatic Collision Avoidance Technology (ACAT) test aircraft banks over NASA’s Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center during a March 2009 flight.  ...
 
 
USF/WHOI/MBARI/NASA image

U.S. initiates prototype system to gauge national marine biodiversity

USF/WHOI/MBARI/NASA image NASA satellite data of the marine environment will be used in prototype marine biodiversity observation networks to be established in four U.S. locations, including the Florida Keys, pictured here. The...
 
 
NASA photograph by David C. Bowman

NASA helicopter test a smashing success

NASA photograph by David C. Bowman Technicians at NASA Langley pulled a helicopter 30 feet into the air before dropping it to test crashworthy systems.   The successful crash test of a former Marine helicopter could help l...
 




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>