Mechanisms of Military Coatings Degradation: Accelerated and Outdoor Exposure Evaluations

Report No. ARL-TR-3085
Authors: John A. Escarsega, William S. Lum, and Philip H. Patterson
Date/Pages: September 2003; 26 pages
Abstract: The Weapons and Materials Directorate of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has completed a 4-year research investigation on identifying and quantifying key degradation mechanisms of legacy and newly developed coatings systems used by the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force. This study has incorporated numerous analytical tools and methods in an effort to better understand the fundamental principles of environmental degradation that lead to coating failures. These environmentally related failures are broadly characterized in two different ways: one as minor, such as appearance changes (color loss/fade), and the other as catastrophic, such as film protection changes (substrate corrosion). This report will summarize the coatings' appearance performances when exposed to enhanced ultraviolet radiation and to outdoor static weathering. Specifically discussed are the results obtained on the coatings' change in color and specular gloss. These evaluations will serve as a performance baseline providing the knowledge required to formulate more durable military coatings. Additionally, when correlated with results obtained from other techniques, a failure analysis model can be established predicting a coating's actual field service life.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2003