Powder coating is used in every industry one can imagine – from agriculture and construction to automotive, pharmaceutical, the consumer-product industry and, yes, even the military. Whenever powder-coating serves military and defense sectors, it must adhere to the most-demanding mil-spec standards. Not only must military powder coating meet rigid mil-spec requirements, combat-grade coatings must offer finishes that are unparallelled in the areas of durability and protection.
Let’s delve a bit deeper into why powder coating is such a vital finishing product for the armed forces.
Military-grade powder coat incorporates components that are highly-resistant to the absorption of harsh chemical agents without compromising the powder coat’s ability to optimally combat corrosion and wear. The military acronym is CARC which stands for Chemical Agent Resistant Coating; and it offers superior adhesion and coverage when compared to other coating techniques, and is able to withstand the most-merciless and unforgiving conditions.
Skilled technicians who apply military-grade powder coat utilize a military-approved zinc phosphate system that offers incomparable corrosion resistance and maximized adhesion properties. Unlike other coating products, military-grade powder coat will stand up to the most-extreme use and abuse, thereby, preventing parts and components from wearing down, prematurely.
Chemical Agent Resistant Coating offers distinct advantages as a finishing product for the Department of Defense:
*** CARC offers virtually zero volatile organic compounds and produces low emissions.
*** CARC is up to 95% recyclable which translates into preservation of resources and a much cleaner environment as well as reducing waste that ends up in landfills.
*** CARC allows for higher film-builds which means more applications can be performed, resulting in enhanced protection of military vehicles and equipment as well as less maintenance.
*** CARC offers maximized corrosion protection; and this, in turn, prolongs the lifespan of vehicles and equipment.
*** CARC prevents the absorption of chemical agents which allows for easier and safer decontamination of parts and equipment.
Interesting Facts on Powder-coating in the US Military
*** Believe it or not, in 2010 the US Department of Defense estimated a whopping $23 billion having been spent each year on corrosion costs! That equated to 20% of monies spent on the maintenance of equipment, weapon systems and facilities. The annual corrosion cost for Navy ships, alone, is estimated by the DoD to be about $3.7 billion, annually. Corrosion has been so pervasive and costly for the military that, in 2018, the US House of Representatives has increased its efforts to dramatically reduce corrosion and save billions of dollars for the DoD.
Top Generals and Admirals, in the past, instructed their staffs to discover ways to minimize the billions of dollars spent on corrosion repairs, repainting and general maintenance of the US military’s countless ships and vehicles. Fast forward and we find specialized powder coatings that have come to the rescue as being so effective with corrosion control that they are, now, used as an alternative to former methods of corrosion protection!
*** Almost every Naval shipyard is equipped to apply maintenance powder coatings. One powder-coating facility is located at the Norfolk Navy Shipyard’s Regional Repair Center which offers easy access of corrosion-control capabilities for surface ships.
*** With the issuance and upgrades of military specifications from the Army Research Laboratory and Naval Sea Systems Command, powder coating applications by powder manufacturers have increased, exponentially.
*** The newest naval vessel is the USS Gerald Ford; and it is not only the most-advanced aircraft carrier, but this monstrous ship is embedded with more powder-coated components than any other ship in the fleet. Powder-coating treatments, galore, took place during the actual construction of the USS Gerald Ford. In 2015, before the ship was sent out to sea from its dry dock in Newport News, VA one of the ships general contractors said: “The USS Gerald Ford will, most likely, have more powder coating in it than any other vessel in the US Navy.”
*** A ‘Type III’ MIL spec powder-coating has incredible ‘technology’ attributes that possesses CARC characteristics and provide stunning camouflage properties that actually reduce the visibility of powder-coated equipment to enemy forces – this had led to saved lives within the US Military.
The military has dramatically increased its use of powder-based coatings – vehicles, equipment, ships, fixed-wing aircraft, water-purification systems, communication vans & trailers. As a result, our fighting men and women benefit, too; and in some ways, those benefits are priceless.