How Protective Paint Helps the Aerospace Industry

Did you know that the UK is the second largest Aerospace Industry in the world, following the US? When people consider the industry, they probably don’t think about the type of paint that the aeroplanes are coated in. But this specialised paint is highly important in protecting the aeroplane that jets you off to your next holiday. In this short article, we discuss how protective paint helps the Aerospace Industry on a daily basis.

Why Do Aeroplanes Need Protective Paint?

Commercial aircraft typically fly between 31,000 and 38,000 feet, and as a result, they are subjected to extreme weather conditions. Flying at the average cruising altitude, air temperature ranges from -40° C to -57°C. If left untreated, the strength of the materials used to create the exterior of the aeroplane can be negatively impacted by these cold temperatures. Think back to the disaster of the Titanic; a key reason the iceberg caused such damage was that the ship’s hull wasn’t equipped for the cold temperatures. The steel became brittle when exposed to the icy water and fractured much easier than it would have done at warmer temperatures.

In addition to protecting an aircraft against drastic changes in weather conditions, modern Aerospace Coatings increase dirt resistance, minimise drag and reduce corrosion. The sun also poses a threat to aircraft because there’s greater ultraviolet (UV) radiation at high altitudes, which can degrade the airframe. Due to the level of protection they provide, Aerospace Coatings are crucial in extending the life of aircraft and increasing flight safety.

The internal structure of a modern aircraft is highly complex, difficult to access on a regular basis and exposed to harsh conditions during flight. As a result, the interior of an aeroplane also requires protective paint to ensure that it’s protected from corrosion on a long-term basis. The use of protective Aerospace Coatings ensures that expensive equipment within modern airframes can be used for at least 20 years.

Aerospace Coatings Offer Protection

Aviation Coatings are among the most technically advanced types of coatings because they are designed to operate in such hostile environments. When creating Aerospace Coatings, airflow must be considered. Even a tiny edge created by one colour paint being layered on top of a base coat can affect airflow and significantly impact an aircraft’s fuel consumption. The accumulated weight of the coating and how this will affect flight performance must also be considered. For example, the average weight of a complete exterior coating on a Boeing 747 is approximately 480 kgs. Aerospace protective paints are highly durable, designed to be as lightweight as possible and also incredibly smooth to minimise drag while in-flight.

Aerospace Coatings are designed to protect aircraft from the following elements:

  • Corrosion
  • Abrasion
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • UV radiation
  • Erosion

Our Work In The Aerospace Industry

We’ve worked on a wide range of aerospace projects with multiple airline Companies, including Virgin Atlantic. Our Team of protective coating specialists have completed projects in numerous airports around the world, stretching as far as Hong Kong. Using high-end aerospace paints, we’ve produced protective coatings for commercial aeroplanes, private jets and military aircraft. We recognise that aeroplanes are built to fly, not sit in a hangar, and this downtime is costly. That’s why we’ll ensure that we complete the project as quickly as possible, to the highest standard.

We offer the following Aerospace Coating options:

  • Stoving finishes for Avionic Equipment to BSX 31
  • Primers and finishes to BSX32, BSX33 and BSX34A
  • Two pack Polyurethane Lacquer to DEF-STAN 80-138
  • Two pack Epoxy finishes to DEF-STAN 80-161
  • Two pack solar heat reflecting finishes to DTD 5618

*Please note all specification numbers are superseded on a regular basis.

If you’d like to talk to one of our Aerospace Coating experts, please get in touch.