Author Topic: A Fresh Coat of Paint  (Read 2119 times)

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Offline ajekt

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A Fresh Coat of Paint
« on: October 18, 2006, 12:35:10 pm »


The world?s largest paint company is using a patent-pending primer developed by North Dakota State University researchers that could save the U.S. military hundreds of millions of dollars in maintenance costs.

Akzo Nobel, a Netherlands-based organization, signed a licensing agreement in June with the NDSU Research Foundation to use the new technology on some of its aerospace products, said Gordon Bierwagen, researcher and chairman of NDSU?s Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials.

The magnesium-based technology protects aluminum aircraft from corrosion without harming the environment, unlike current primer coatings that contain toxic chromium compounds.

Other environmentally safe chemical-based primers have been available for years, but none until now have protected aluminum as well as chromium compounds, military tests show.

?We will be the only paint manufacturer to use this state-of-the-art technology, which represents another significant coup for our aerospace coating business,? Han Wijers, CEO of Akzo Nobel, said in a news release.

Bobbi Jo Merten, a doctoral candidate in coatings and polymeric materials at North Dakota State University, loads another experiment into a Faraday cage Tuesday at Research 1. The experiment will test a new magnesium-based aircraft coating on sheets of aluminum. The product may reduce weight on aircraft, will be easier to apply and is not carcinogenic as is the product it will replace when it is marketed globally by a company in the Netherlands.

The Department of Defense awarded NDSU a $2 million competitive grant in 1996 to research coatings for the Air Force. With help from Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., the government allocated another $7 million in grants to NDSU in 1999.

Private businesses and schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago also received federal grants for the project.

?We feel really proud academically that we succeeded,? Bierwagen said. ?We have been able to solve this problem that nobody else has. We?re just as competitive as our football team.?

That research victory will have a major economic impact on NDSU, although Bierwagen would not speculate on how much money it would generate.

?If it goes as they predict, everyone will be very happy,? he said. ?If everything goes as we hope, this is going to be the biggest nonagriculture licensing agreement set up by the university.?

The U.S. military supplies workers who use chromate-based products on aircrafts with respirators and special suits because of its toxic nature, which won?t be needed with the new primer. Continuous exposure to chromium compounds can lead to respiratory problems.

About 25 percent of annual military equipment maintenance costs are caused by corrosion, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

The Air Force spends $800 million to $1 billion annually on maintenance, with a significant amount on aircraft corrosion, Bierwagen said.

?Handling chromates is expensive,? he said. ?There are special landfills to handle them. When you take the old paints off, it becomes hazardous waste.?

Readers can reach Forum reporter Joe Whetham at (701) 241-5557
N-D-S-U ... Goooooo Bison!

Offline ge_bjf007

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Re: A Fresh Coat of Paint
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 05:02:44 pm »
Cool, I also heard NDSU is developing some coating to go on medical equipment that is inserted into the body; it is suppose to reduce infection/rejection!
Go Bison!

Offline pmp6nl

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Re: A Fresh Coat of Paint
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2006, 05:29:23 pm »
Very nice, its great to see NDSU doing great things like this; it really helps to put us on the map. 

Go Bison!


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