Durable Color Matching Coatings for Vehicle Tires

Period of Performance: 12/21/2015 - 12/20/2016

$500K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Signature management technology such as camouflage coatings on military tactical vehicles significantly reduces detection by enemy combatants. Black tires and tracks, however, are in direct contrast to the vehicle and surroundings and constitute a large portion of the vehicle profile. To satisfy this need in Phase I Luna developed a durable, color-matching coating that can be simply applied to tires and treads and has been proven to reduce the overall vehicle signature, providing additional protection to the combat soldiers. The coating completely covers the tire and matches the vehicle body paint in color and specular gloss. It is easily applied with standard application methods such as spraying or brushing, and can be used in touch-up applications. The coating conforms to the elastomeric material of tire rubber and has been proven to outlast tires during endurance testing and not interfere with tire performance. The coating can be rapidly applied and cures quickly at ambient conditions to full properties limiting equipment downtime. In Phase II Luna will continue coating development through coating scale-up, environmental testing such as ozone and UV resistance and more extensive thermal aging, packaging trials, and full scale field assessment evaluations.