CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2017

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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50 MAY 2017 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Science Behind It Keeping Hangar Coatings Clean and Clear By Paul Anderson, Technical Director for Flowcrete Americas T he inherent stresses and strains of the aviation industry can quickly take a toll on the surround- ing environment, as the heav y, complex equipment and vehicles can inflict all manner of challenges on the building materials, facilities, and working processes that make up the sector. One aspect of an aviation site that may be particularly affected is the floor underfoot, and the tire marks that not only lessen the interior aesthetics but can also damage the value of the site. ese marks are caused when heat and pressure make chemical components leach out from the tire and chemically bond with the floor. is won't affect the integrity of the tire, but it will lead to unattractive smears across the hangar's floor that are very difficult to remove. e main heat sources are thermal radiation from the brake assemblies and heat created by the friction between the tires and runway, with the weight of the plane providing the necessary pressure. It is impossible to stop these sources from radiating heat so abrasion-resistant flooring should be installed to stop the plasticizers from the tires infiltrating the finish in the first place. Epoxy resin floor coatings provide a robust, chemical-re- sistant platform for aircraft maintenance that can withstand the on site challenges over an extended period of time while providing additional operational benefits. For example, a bright, light colored floor, free from markings and stains will not only make colored line marking stand out, but it will also make any contaminants or spillages easier to spot — helping to maintain a cleaner and safer environment. e problem of unappealing tire marks spoiling a site's appearance is especially concerning for a private airport such as Fontainebleau Aviation. ey needed to ensure that the airport's high-end clientele would continue to be presented with a pleasant and luxurious atmosphere. Coating Components To achieve a finish that would meet Fontainebleau Aviation's high standards for the long term, an epoxy-based flooring build-up from Flowcrete Americas was installed across 70,000 square feet (6,503.2 m²) of two hangars at Opa-Locka Executive Airport. e PPI Epoxy Coatings crew used a system that included Flowcoat OP, which has a higher viscosity that helps with resisting tire marks. e application viscosity of the resin systems was an important aspect of the installation work at Fontainebleau Aviation. Flowcrete Americas' epoxy resin flooring products provide improved application viscosity. is reformulation means that the systems are more fluid and offer improved chemical resistance and improved cure and hardening profiles. ese properties stem in large part from the removal of the chemical nonyl phenol from both the base and hardener components, which are the two components that make up the epoxy system. e base component consists of epoxy resin and the hardener consists of different types of amines. W hen the base and hardener are mixed, there is a chemical reaction that forms a transverse structure — or in other words an epoxy plastic. To obtain the optimum results, these components must be blended in the precise proportions needed for the chemi- cal reaction to occur and mixing must be thorough to ensure the final product is homogeneous and uniform in properties. In addition to these two components, coating manufac- turers can include a variety of additives, including reactive thinners, pigments, and fillers, which modify the epoxy plastic to suit the application in question. For example, Flowcrete's OP epoxy systems start with a base of Bisphenol A epoxy resin, which is mixed with a hardener made from cycloaliphatic amine. To this is added fillers that give it the density to withstand challenging industrial conditions, as well as specialist additives such as a de-foamer, which among other things helps to avoid floors getting an unpleasant orange peel effect. Final Floor With a dense epoxy coating on the hangar floor, tire marks should be less of a worry for Opa-Locka Executive Airport, which should make the client and the contractor happy. CP

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