Performance demands on aerospace paints relative to environmental legislation
Traditionally aerospace coatings have been formulated for performance. In an extreme case a faulty coating could contribute to an accident on a catastrophic scale. The demands on aerospace coatings are severe because aircraft have unusual requirements. These requirements are dictated by the environment in which modern aircraft operate, the nature of the structure of the airframe, the way they are painted and the way in which they are used. As a consequence of all this, the paints which have been formulated for aerospace use usually differ from paint used in other industrial areas. It has often meant using ingredients which are regarded as hazardous either to health, such as chromate pigments, or to the environment, such as large quantities of strong solvents. Bearing this in mind, modern formulations have had to evolve, improving performance and taking into account the results of using hazardous ingredients which might affect users of the coatings, innocent bystanders and the environment. Here we consider the conflict between these influences and show the position reached within the industry.
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