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The challenge

Re-coating aircraft skin to preserve integrity

An aircraft's topcoat is an impervious polyurethane skin which protects the plane from the extreme environmental conditions encountered at high speeds in flight.

As part of ongoing aircraft maintenance, the topcoat skin is re-coated to preserve its integrity.

The topcoat must be mechanically abraded by sanding in order for these subsequent layers to adhere well, but this process is time-consuming, fatiguing and laborious for workers and has the potential to cause damage to the aircraft.

Our response

Reactivating the topcoat

In partnership with international aircraft manufacturer Boeing, we developed Paintbond, a chemical reactivation process which allows fresh topcoat to bond firmly to the previous layer, removing the need for sanding.

Our cost-effective topcoat technology is reducing environmental impact and improving worker safety in the aviation industry.

The system is sufficiently robust and can be applied on a large scale across a diverse range of aircraft construction materials with no interference to their durability.

Its rapid kinetics allows direct application of fresh coatings within 30 minutes of reactivation.

It is applicable to a broad range of aerospace coating systems and qualified for all aerospace applications.

The results

Award winning topcoat technology

Our Paintbond technology is cost-effective, significantly improves worker safety and reduces environmental impact.

The technology was awarded the Boeing Silver Suppliers Excellence Award in 2008, and was also a critical factor in CSIRO being recognised as Boeing's 'Supplier of the Year – Academia' in 2011.

The technology has since been adopted by Boeing across its fleet, with more than 1000 aircraft re-coated using Paintbond.

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