Design and Synthesis of Nanostructured Corrosion Resistance Coating for Ageing Aircraft

Period of Performance: 05/01/2003 - 05/01/2004


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Array
Pembroke, VA 24136
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Sponsored Programs 0170
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Institution POC


The objective of the proposed Air Force Phase II STTR program is to develop polymer/nanocluster-based corrosion-inhibiting coatings for the protection of metal aircraft components. Researchers at the company and on campus would work together to improve and characterize novel protective coatings that were successfully demonstrated to inhibit corrosive processes on typical aircraft aluminum test articles during the Phase I STTR research program. Such a nanostructured coating system approach specifically avoids the incorporation of conventional but environmentally unacceptable chromium, zinc and phosphate-based compounds, and the coatings may be applied using cost-effective spray or brush application methods. During the Phase II program, the company also would work with materials scientists at several major U.S. aircraft manufacturers and advanced chemical manufacturing companies to evaluate prototype coating materials, alternative methods for qualitative and quantitative corrosion coating analysis, practical industrial manufacturing and field techniques for coating application and removal, and ways in which this patented and licensed coating technology may be transitioned to military and commercial use. Anticipated results of this program include 1) effective corrosion-inhibiting coatings for widespread military and commercial use, 2) reduction of environmentally unacceptable corrosion coating materials, and 3) near-term transition of developed technology to major U.S. aircraft manufacturers The market for anti-corrosion coatings used by the Air Force is quite significant. Specifically, according to some estimates, the US Air Force will spend approximately more than $700 million per year on corrosion prevention, maintenance and painting airplanes. Furthermore, the market for additional types of coatings, including coatings for signature control of high performance aircraft are also extensive. For this program the aerospace market is the primary market that the company will target for the anti-corrosion coatings. Corrosion coatings, however, also have applications in the fuel extraction and power industries, both for terrestrial and offshore applications. Additional commercial applications include coatings that can be used in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical, the packaging and food processing, and the automotive, land and marine transportation industries.