Is There a Better Corrosion Fix in the Works?

The Air Force Research Lab, in conjunction with Boeing’s Phantom Works and Aeronautical Systems Center’s Aging Aircraft Systems Squadron, has developed a new environment-friendly, corrosion resistant aircraft coating. AFRL scientists have been searching for a new coating because the existing chromate-based coating—which has excellent corrosion inhibiting properties—is known to be hazardous. The result is AC-131BB, a zirconium alkoxide-based coating. Researchers have completed 1,000 hours of salt-spray testing, adhesion experiments, and corrosion tests—all showing that the new coating works—on aluminum test panels of an F-15 and a KC-135.