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Published by AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings, 2019-08-07 16:24:16

Reflections July 2019 Mid Year Issue

Reflections July 2019 Mid Year Issue

JULY 2019


Future developments
in aerospace coatings

Meeting new challenges
with new solutions


Reflections are as much about seeing the future as they are

about seeing the past. And let me just say: the future is very


As an industry, we all look for ways to Collaboration is a prominent theme for us
develop and innovate further. Innovation as we innovate. We are proud to participate
isn’t just limited to products, either. in the CleanSky2 EcoTECH consortium, which
It is how we can think differently, modify aims to speed up the introduction of new,
processes, and utilize the new technologies more environmentally friendly materials and
we have at our fingertips. to stimulate the industry (page 8). And, we are

John Griffin With this in mind, we bring you this issue of grateful for the frequent exchanges we have
Reflections, highlighting our latest developments with customers via our training programs
Global Segment Director in aerospace coatings technology, tools, training, and seminars (page 12).
AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings
and the partnerships that bring us to the future. Part of seeing a bright future is about keeping
“As always, thank you
for your commitment and I am especially proud of the great work of an open mind and dreaming big. Our partnerships
collaboration.  I hope you our dedicated aerospace lab, highlighted in our with student initiatives from the Delft University
are as excited as I am about feature story where we put the spotlight on of Technology assure us that the future is full of
the future and will join us innovation (page 4). AkzoNobel’s leading role possibilities. Whether it is AeroDelft’s project to
for the next chapter to find in finding a solution for developing effective fly an aircraft using liquid hydrogen or Stratos IV’s
new and better solutions for corrosion inhibition technologies that are non- goal of reaching space, we know our coatings
our industry.” toxic is especially important to our values of will play an important role (page 14).

creating a sustainable future. Our partnerships

and collaboration with leading universities have

led to exciting new insights.



4 Meeting aerospace's 12 Continuous improvement
changing needs: through global training
spotlight on programs

Innovation in any industry is hard to achieve,
but especially so in aerospace. We work in an
understandably risk adverse environment, so
any new technologies and products must face
rigorous levels of testing and approvals.

On the cover... 8 Helping to 14 The future is
develop the next bright: Inspired
Project Phoenix: generation of eco- by our student
the world’s first liquid friendly aviation partnerships
hydrogen-powered technologies
fuel cell aircraft? Innovation can take place at any level – from
Earlier in the year, our team in Sassenheim corporate to start ups and everything in between.
Read more on Page 16. welcomed a consortium of universities, research Partnering with student initiatives is one of the
institutes and private businesses to the site. This ways we can foster innovation, helping them
Publisher was part of a project looking to take further steps achieve their ambitions and bring their discoveries
AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings in eco-innovation for the aviation industry. into the wider world.
Rijksstraatweg 31, 2171 AJ Sassenheim
Tel: +31 71 308 2030 10 Evolving technologies: 18 An increasing
Editor the future of films in aircraft palette of color
Jemma Lampkin tools
Simon Tripcony When it comes to color, the industry demands
Production Coordinator faster and more accurate color reproduction every
Stuart Melville year. To meet this demand, color technology is
Follow us online: continually developing. Having a wide range of
color tools available is invaluable when it comes to helping aerospace companies create and
maintain a color palette.
How do you like the new AkzoNobel
Aerospace Coatings magazine? If you wish to
provide feedback and suggestions or would
simply like to be added to our mailing list,
please email: [email protected]

The AkzoNobel logo is a trademark of AkzoNobel. © AkzoNobel 2019


Meeting aerospace’s
changing needs:
spotlight on

Innovation in any industry is hard to achieve, but especially
so in aerospace. We work in an understandably risk adverse
environment, so any new technologies and products must face
rigorous levels of testing and approvals.

We make every effort to focus on the 1. Chromate free primer eco-friendliness of our processes and reduce
future and ensuring that our products technologies the impact of the final delivered aircraft.
and services match the industry as
it evolves. In this article, Marc van der Geest, Speak to anyone in aircraft manufacturing or AkzoNobel is committed to taking a leading
Aerospace Lab Manager, highlights some of maintenance, and chances are that the topic of role in finding a solution for developing effective
our recent developments. These are not just corrosion will come up. With a high percentage of corrosion inhibition technologies that are non-
helping to make the industry safer, but more aircraft fuselage skin sheets, internal structures toxic. With our primers for the exterior of aircraft,
productive too. and components made of metal, and more we have made strides via several products in
specifically high-strength aluminium alloys, our Aerodur range. Several of these exterior and
Marc van der Geest corrosion prevention is a must. The traditional exterior maintenance primers use AkzoNobel
Aerospace Lab Manager way to do this is through anti-corrosive coatings patented technology based on lithium salts. These
that contain strontium chromate. Chromate lithium salts with aluminium ions precipitate a
pigments, recognized by the typical yellow-green stable layer onto the aluminium surface in the
color in aerospace primers, are well known case of corrosive conditions.
for their capacity to protect metals in case of
corrosive conditions occurring – even when the It is extremely difficult to correlate the
paint film is not fully intact anymore. behavior of coatings and their constituents
in laboratory tests with the final in-service
Because of this capacity, the aerospace performance in the demanding conditions aircraft
industry has relied on chromated primers for operate in. Especially with corrosion related
corrosion protection for many decades. However, phenomena, there is a deep level of mechanistic
one large downside of chromates is their understanding needed. AkzoNobel scientists
toxicity. Chromium (VI) – also called hexavalent have teamed up with academic partners, such
chromium, or chrome-6 – the chemical element as the University of Manchester, Delft University
in chromate responsible for its anti-corrosive
behavior, is a known carcinogen.

Over the last few years, the industry has
been faced with increased pressure to find
alternative technologies. Legislative changes,
like REACH in the EU, adds more pressure to
removing chromates from coatings entirely. As
the aerospace industry continues to become more
environmentally aware, we must also improve the


AkzoNobel is committed
to taking a leading role

in finding a solution
for developing effective

corrosion inhibition
technologies that
are non-toxic.

of Technology, and with engineers from leading alloys to provide protection against corrosion. predictive ability of the final performance of
aerospace OEMs. The joint efforts have led to new Additionally, improved test methods have the primers. These test methods, coupled with
insights in how our unique, proprietary, lithium access to more advanced materials analysis via
based corrosion inhibitors interact with aluminium been designed and developed to enable better our partnerships, have proved invaluable in taking
quantification of corrosion inhibition and better a more scientific approach to create an effective
Fig I. Precipitated layer (Images from T.U. Delft and VUB – Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
The greatest challenge still remains:
developing chromate-free primers for aircraft
structures with equivalent performance to today’s
chromated primers. That’s our ultimate goal, and
a goal shared by the entire industry.

x10,000 cross-section x20,000 top view

Fig II. Timeline of AkzoNobel key developments in chromate-free technologies

1996 2006 2010 2014 2019

Introduction of Aviox CF Replacement of a chromate- Introduction of the first Debut of Aerodur HS 2118; Qualification of Aerodur
Primer, the industry’s first based refresh primer with a ever lithium-based primer a cutting-edge lithium-based HS 2121 CF Primer, part of
total chromate free primer chromate-free alternative, technology and magnesium- primer compliant with the our next generation exterior
for exterior finishing in reducing the overall toxicity rich Aerodur 2100 MgRP AMS 3095A specification decorative and selectively
maintenance applications. levels in anti-corrosion paint for unrivalled corrosion with the ability to replace strippable system at Airbus.
systems. protection. washprimer systems.


...we are making good
progress in developing low
VOC, future-proof primers
for the thermoplastic
structures of today
and tomorrow.

2. Coatings for thermoplastic pretreatments and preparation processes. This suppliers, we are making good progress in
composites requires our Research & Development team to developing low VOC, future-proof primers for the
focus on developing a new range of products thermoplastic structures of today and tomorrow.
Thermoplastic composites are playing more for this purpose. We already offer a successful
and more of a role in aerospace components and primer, Aerodur Barrier Primer 37045, based on a
are competing with aluminium for certain parts – unique hybrid epoxy-urethane polymer structure.
even large sections of aircraft. In fact, Boeing and
Airbus are developing entire fuselage shells based One of the technical challenges with
on thermoplastic polymers. regards to developing primers for thermoplastic
composites is the disparate nature of the
Compared to the more traditional, thermoset polymers themselves, compared to the epoxy
composites (such as carbon fiber reinforced epoxy resins used in traditional thermosets. It takes
laminates), they offer a number of advantages: careful balancing of the solubility parameters of
greater toughness, easier manufacturing and (re) the coating resins, curing agents and medium to
shaping processes, the ability to join structures match those of the composite surface. By doing
by welding – saving the weight of fasteners so, polymer chain entanglement and intermingling
and adhesives – and the potential to be fully are promoted, which in turn leads to the desired
recyclable – an attractive property in the light of level of adhesion.
reducing the environmental impact.
By using AkzoNobel’s in-house capabilities
The problem, however, is that most traditional in polymer design and synthesis, and by
aerospace composite primers don’t readily collaborating with thermoplastic composite
adhere to these new surfaces without extensive


3. A faster clear coat accelerating the drying. The two technologies conclusive results in terms of how coatings will
make use of photo-latent and thermo-latent react to weather conditions like rain and hail.
If corrosion is a frequent topic of conversation catalysis, respectively. The former doesn’t HPWJ can expose paint systems to much tougher
within aircraft manufacturing, then process times become active until the clear coat is exposed with conditions, through increased pressure or lower
are next in line to be mentioned. Anyone dealing a low dosage of mild UV LED light (the same mild temperatures that can replicate flight conditions
with plane production, maintenance or repair is UV-light as used in sun tan lamps); the latter far more accurately. Using this method has been
likely to be very concerned about process times. doesn’t become active until a mild temperature instrumental in the successful development of
Clear coats are the final layer on modern paint increase is applied (45-50°C / 110-120°F). the recently launched Aerodur HS 2121 CF Primer,
schemes and, traditionally, can easily take up of which one of the main benefits is the improved
more than 12 hours to dry to a perfect finish What both clear coat technologies have in adhesion on fastener heads.
and for the aircraft to be ready for additional common is that they share the nice flow and
operations. They need such a long 'open' time to levelling behavior, long pot life, and long wet edge We have also developed and introduced a
accept overspray and to stay fluid long enough for of traditional, slow-drying clear coats. However, new pot life viscosity measurement instrument,
the liquid paint to level itself to create a durable, they both dry at a much faster rate as soon as which is able to independently closely follow the
smooth and high gloss finish. the trigger is applied. The end result is that paint viscosity of a high number of paint mixtures as
teams who work on planes can improve their they thicken over time. Viscosity increase occurs
Imagine how much more efficient these throughput and do more with the same capacity. because the separate components of the paint
processes could be if that time was reduced to create a chemical reaction that slowly thickens
90 minutes or less? When thinking about how to Tests in progress the mixture. At some point, the paint becomes too
reduce the time needed, we started to evaluate viscous to use and this new test can measure
the technologies from our automotive refinishes We are firm believers that innovation should this with greater accuracy.
business. The automotive industry is also driven focus not only on products, but also services and
by efficiency, even more so than aerospace in other solutions. In addition to our new product The measurement instrument uses a series
some cases. developments, our R&D teams are also looking of test tubes containing metal balls and the
beyond traditional test methods to come up with paints, which are rotated at 3 minute intervals
The result is two new, proprietary technologies solutions to aerospace coating issues. so the speed of the ball as it drops through the
that make use of so-called latent catalysts. liquid can be recorded. The longer this takes,
Catalysis is the activation mechanism which On such development is a new method of the higher the viscosity has become. This method
initiates and speeds up the chemical reactions critically assessing the adhesion and erosion allows a more reproducible, more accurate
involved with the drying of our modern 2- or resistance of exterior aerospace coatings using representation of the pot life viscosity profiles
3-component polyurethane clear coats. The High Pressure Water Jets (HPWJ), which can of multi-component paint systems, than
latency indicates that an external trigger is correlate better to the real-life conditions a plane attainable with traditional flow cup methods.
needed for the catalysts to become active, faces at altitude. Current tests cannot provide
These developments are important in order
Fig III. Viscosity development through pot life to keep up with industry trends and ensure our
paints meet any new requirements.


Kinematic viscosity (mm2/s) 120





20 00:30 01:00 01:30 - Aerodur HS 2121
0 Pot life (hr:min) - Previous gen.

00:00 02:00 02:30


Helping to develop
the next generation
of eco-friendly aviation

Earlier in the year, our team in Sassenheim welcomed a consortium of universities, research
institutes and private businesses to the site. This was part of a project looking to take further
steps in eco-innovation for the aviation industry.


Since 2016, AkzoNobel has been part all have different areas of focus and AkzoNobel’s considered for future aircraft structures. And
of the CleanSky2 EcoTECH consortium, main contribution is in the metallic and the second, they have also enabled us to help our
which is working to create a new set of maintenance and repair workstreams. partners to optimize the parameters of two new
technologies and manufacturing techniques to joining techniques (Friction Stir Welding and
reduce the environmental footprint of aircraft With that in mind, Peter Visser, Project Laser Beam Welding) so that they can be used
production. Lead Corrosion Expertise Group, is representing with the new chromate-free systems without
AkzoNobel alongside Marc. “We’re already negative effects on the corrosion resistance.
“The aviation industry faces a number of working on developing chromate-free corrosion
challenges. One of the most pressing of these inhibition technologies and improving primer The consortium is looking to fully develop
is how to develop new methods that enable coating concepts. Being part of this project new technologies so that they achieve a
green manufacturing, maintenance and end of allows us to accelerate that development,” Peter Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6, which
life processes – in response to both operational explains. “The consortium’s work is organized in means prototypes having been demonstrated in
and societal pressures,” said Marc van der Geest, such a way that the project can capture synergies relevant environments. The next stage is for all
Lab Manager, Aerospace Coatings. “While between the different partners. This allows us all the new materials to be subjected to a Lifecycle
there is clearly a growing demand for air travel, to feedback on other partners’ work, using our assessment that will quantify and compare their
this has to be balanced by a reduction in fuel specific expertise to help develop new products environmental impact with existing references.
consumption, noise, emissions and maintenance and materials within the CleanSky 2 initiative.” Ultimately the aim of the CleanSky2 EcoTECH
costs. On top of that, we need to find a new consortium is to speed up the introduction of
generation of lighter, cheaper materials that The testing of our new chromate free surface new, more environmentally friendly materials
can be disposed of in a more environmentally treatments and primers takes place not just at and to stimulate the industry.
sensitive way.” AkzoNobel, but also at Netherland Aerospace
(NLR), Delft University and the Hellenic Aerospace This project will run until 2024 and we are
Taking eco-materials further Institute (HAI) in Greece. This means that we are excited about potential outcomes. A similar,
not isolated in our own lab, but share findings previous initiative that focused on aircraft design
The EcoTECH consortium includes twelve with other respected research centres and resulted in 1.5 million jobs and USD160 billion
partners from Germany, Netherlands, Greece and collaborate on different materials and coatings. worth of new products and services.
Spain and is co-led by Airbus, Dassault Aviation
and Fraunhofer. The consortium is currently A successful start Find out more at
investigating leading edge technologies and
materials that will help achieve its environmental AkzoNobel’s part in the project so far has
aims. It will choose the most promising of these thrown up two important findings. First, that our
for further investigation. The partner organizations new chromate free technologies are compatible
with new aluminium-lithium alloys being

“We’re already working on developing chromate-free corrosion
inhibition technologies and improving primer coating
concepts. Being part of this project allows us to accelerate that

Peter Visser, Project Lead, Corrosion Expertise Group


Evolving technologies: the
future of films in aircraft

Influenced by trends in the automotive industry, aerospace companies are turning to film to
add style, quality and differentiation to their aircraft, while still meeting stringent performance
and safety specifications.

Non-liquid paint options are becoming The processing of our various cast film These can integrate colors, graphics and effects to
more common and are changing the way technologies requires knowledge already produce complex designs and textured finishes with
the industry is seeing internal Aerospace common to composite and plastics processing. This exceptional functionality and customization.
coatings. If you’ve ever traveled on an aircraft, means our solutions can be easily integrated with
there is a good chance you will have already minimal to no extra investment. These processing As a zero volatile organic compound (VOC)
seen an AkzoNobel film or marking product technologies include roll/sheet lamination, application, decorative films have a lower
in action. Most of the finishes in a typical extrusion lamination, thermoforming, injection carbon footprint than traditional liquid paints. By
commercial aircraft cabin, for example, are molding and composite molding. eliminating the need to spray the final finish, the
some type of film. Either a thin surfacing film, a risk of any potential exposure to isocyanates or
decorative laminate, or laminated plastic that is What makes films such solvents is eradicated – a real advantage when
thermoformed into a component. an effective choice? it comes to hazardous materials management.

The range of aircraft films and markings we The intersection between the drive to reduce Our decorative films are also inherently flame
supply includes textured finishes and decorative process times and to maintain high quality is retardant, achieving lower values in toxicity and
laminates for a wide range of interior surfaces, where the benefits of film are evident. Cast film flammability compared to most liquid finishes. And
from wall panels to partitions, seat shells to technology offers key benefits in these areas for while they are not suited to parts that require a full
over-head bins. We also offer logos and markings, both interior and exterior surfaces, across a range 360-degree coverage, they are ideal for relatively
including security and information notices. of surface types. Excellent thickness distribution, simple 2D surfaces with slight curves and a width
low to no internal stress and a wider choice of of up to 1.5 meters. More complex 3D shapes can
What drives the use of films? resins, pigments and other additives are some also be achieved through thermoforming our films
of the key benefits. that have been laminated on plastic sheets.
Over the last decade, there has been an
increased focus on shortening the total time Decorative film – sometimes known as paint film Paint films also make it simpler to harmonize
to produce an aircraft. However, the process of – is made up of several thin layers of liquid paint. the appearance of different aircraft parts and
aircraft painting has remained largely the same surfaces, such as side-wall panels, seat backs
overall. There continues to be increasing pressure
to reduce the process time needed for aircraft Fig IV. Comparison of key benefits for paint film versus traditional paint
coatings. Similarly, performance requirements are
increasingly stringent, along with more pressure to Benefit Paint Film Traditional Paint
reduce labor and re-working requirements in the
application process. Weatherability HIGH HIGH - AVERAGE
Chemical resistance HIGH HIGH
Other industries, such as automotive, have Fire, smoke, toxicity LOW
been using film technology with success for Orange peel LOW HIGH - AVERAGE
many years. AkzoNobel already had a number of Gloss / DOI HIGH AVERAGE
achievements using film for automotive customers, Process flexibility HIGH HIGH
including unlimited print designs and metallic Total system cost LOW - AVERAGE LOW
finishes developed in collaboration with OEMs, the Environmental
introduction of polyurethane and reactive polymer compliance costs LOW HIGH-AVERAGE
resins, and excellent processability in both high and
low volume applications. HIGH


Fig V. AkzoNobel aerospace films and markings sites

United States Europe

Lancaster, South Carolina Limoges, France

Our Lancaster site boasts over 9,500m² / 100,000 square feet of Our Limoges site processed its first order for Airbus in 1972 and has thrived in

manufacturing facilities, including clean room technologies, pilot coating the aerospace industry ever since. Through customized solutions, the facility

and small production runs, world-class laminating capabilities and precision provides kits for printed technical markings, stencils, and other films.

coating with multiple coating methods. • 5,000m² / 54,000 square feet

• 1980 – production started • Product storage including all spares PARIS
• Logistics offices in Toulouse and Hamburg for
• 9,500m² / 102,000 square feet SAN FRANCISCO WASHINGTON NANTES

• 15+ years without a lost time accident LOS ANGELES product storage and express delivery service

• ISO certification since 1992 HOUSTON • EN 9100, ISO 9001 and 14001 certified MONACO
• Capabilities include screen and digital printing,
• Real-time ERP system

roll-to-sheet and roll-to-roll lamination,

die cutting, kitting, and packaging

and overhead lockers. Achieving the same level of Our decorative films are
consistency using liquid coatings would be far more also inherently flame
challenging, time consuming and costly.
retardant, achieving lower
Films can be customized with a range of both values in toxicity and
functional and aesthetic finishes. Possible effects
include anodized, brushed stainless, reflective/ flammability compared to
backlit chrome, fluorescent colors, reflex most liquid finishes.
holographic, printed textures and patterns,
soft touch, colored chromes and woodgrains.

What does the future
hold for films?

Future research will continue to look at
modifying existing film technology in automotive
and other industries to further meet the needs
of the aerospace industry. Understanding how to
effectively use film and non-liquid paint technology
in aircraft production and composite part
manufacturing is a key focus as we all collectively
work to reduce the aircraft production cycle time
and offer unique design possibilities.

We are currently working on projects to develop
films that are applied in the mold – replacing
traditional spray applied coatings. We expect this
process will yield a protective coating for structural
and non-structural composites that has better
adhesion, flexibility and durability compared with
traditional spray applied primers and coatings.

In the words of Quan Song, our Paint Films R&D
Manager in Lancaster: “The best time for film is yet
to come!”


Continuous improvement
through global training

The one constant in the aerospace coatings industry is change. New materials and coatings are
coming on the market all the time, regulations change, and application processes are refined.
That’s why we invest in training programs to build specific knowledge on coating systems and
application among our customers and partners.


The performance of aerospace coating Customer-specific trainings are often delivered Helping us create
technology often comes down to the off-site. These are usually led by our local better products
variables of application. A product can Technical Service personnel, who provide the
perform a certain way within a laboratory, expert paint training, as well as other members Training programs also give the opportunity to
but aircrafts are painted in a wide range of of our teams. gather input for refining new or existing products.
conditions and circumstances. For many years, Feedback from participants – via mini focus
AkzoNobel has invested in training all types They provide refresher courses, train new groups – can help us understand different pain
of clients, from painters and engineers to painters and demonstrate new innovations in points and how we can remove them. Training
managers and procurement or HSE officers. bespoke one, two or three-day courses focusing participants share how they might use different
Our goal is to ensure that customers fully precisely on the customer’s needs. Because these concepts, what considerations need to be taken
understand our products and how to work are tailored to the audience, they can provide into account for application, and what features
with them effectively. much greater detail on specific products and are most important.
subjects. For instance, they might demonstrate
Effective training programs are also very how to paint a rivet or sealant, where they can go New technology is also tested during our
much about cooperation and the exchange of into every step of the process. There are a large training sessions. Entire crews can be taught how
information between us and our customers. number of modules that can be adapted to what to use a new product and have the opportunity to
We can share the latest information and products, the participants need to learn. trial it in the training. Following their feedback,
and customers can share valuable feedback on we can then tweak how it works, so that the final
how to improve our products both technically and Understanding commercial product can meet our customers’
from the perspective of practical application. industry changes needs immediately.

Courses designed The changing dynamics in the industry also The future of training
around our customers yield an opportunity for further training. Recently,
AkzoNobel and our distributor, Pexa, organized a Training itself always needs to keep up with
AkzoNobel has invested in two customer Clean Coatings seminar in the United Kingdom. advancements in technology. Our training in Troy
training concepts: Training School and customer- Aerospace engineers, specifiers and managers will soon incorporate the virtual spray booth that
specific trainings. Our Training Schools are gathered to discuss the latest developments in we have showcased at a number of conferences
located at our Aerospace sites in Troy, Michigan REACH compliant chromate free coatings for the this past year. This state-of-the-art virtual reality
and Sassenheim, The Netherlands. We also corrosion protection of aerospace structures. device lets customers easily practice spraying
conduct training courses at our facilities in techniques free from the restrictions of PPE,
Leicester, Dubai and Moscow. Delegates enjoyed a series of presentations and with whatever color, material, shape or parts
and took part in practical demonstrations to share they choose. The virtual reality tool gives users
Our on-site courses feature a number of knowledge and develop understanding of this immediate feedback about how they can adjust
modules that provide a thorough background in vital area of the industry. Events like the Clean and advance their application skills.
areas such as where our paint is made, how it Coatings seminar gives attendees the opportunity
is tested and what regulations need to be met. to understand and question the changes and As our industry grows, we all share the
They are attended by management, engineers raise their awareness of the solutions to these challenge to develop enough painters with the
and painters, and feature subject experts from challenging issues. specialist skills to work on something as big as a
every field, like R&D, Product Management and plane. We look forward to using our experience to
Quality. As well as providing a comprehensive make sure we all apply coatings in the best way
range of commercial content, we also share any possible.
innovations suitable for the participants, plus
practical information on Personal Protection
Equipment (PPE) and other areas.

Within North America, our on-site training is
moving to a new dedicated space in Troy. One of
the benefits of on-site training is being able to
set up a dedicated venue to provide the most
realistic environment. For example, we created
a room with special lighting effects that shows
how different light types and sources can change
how we see paint color.


The future is bright: DARE and Stratos IV
Inspired by our
student partnerships Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE)
was founded in 2001, with the aim of giving
Innovation can take place at any level – from corporate to Aerospace Engineering students the opportunity
start ups and everything in between. Partnering with student to get some hands-on experience with rocketry.
initiatives is one of the ways we can foster innovation, helping Since then, DARE has grown to a society of more
them achieve their ambitions and bring their discoveries into than 180 active members from a host of different
the wider world. faculties of the TU Delft, working on nearly every
technology used in rocketry.

Project Stratos is DARE’s flagship project.
The mission of Project Stratos is simple in its
description: be the first student rocketry team
to launch a rocket to space. But achieving that
ultimate dream is anything but simple.

As AkzoNobel is headquartered in Amsterdam, we are fortunate to be in close proximity to the With a large team, including 15 full time
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The TU Delft is the largest technical university in the and 60 part time engineers, Stratos IV works
Netherlands and covers practically the entire spectrum of engineering sciences. The university faithfully on the latest rocket. The rocket consists
focuses on the integration of research, education, and innovation. Collaboration among students, of several sections that will all have to work
companies, and societal partners is a cornerstone of the TU Delft education in technical-scientific together seamlessly. The flight starts with a
knowledge. phase powered by the engine, which produces
an incredible 31,000 horsepower, equal to
AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings is presently sponsoring two student initiatives from the TU Delft: AeroDelft approximately 40 formula 1 cars.
and Stratos IV. Our partnerships on these two initiatives consistently impress us and are a reminder to keep
an open mind when it comes to thinking big.


“The coatings and support provided by
AkzoNobel are crucial to us reaching
our goal of launching to space. The
coatings allow Stratos IV to cut through
the air smoothly at hypersonic speeds
and the bright orange color allows the
capsule to be recovered easily after
touchdown in the sea. All in all, the
AkzoNobel coating and expertise is
critical to our mission success.”

Klaas Burger, Relations, Operations and
Finance manager Stratos IV

AkzoNobel is proud to supply our coatings, Fig VI: The Stratos Series
application support, and advice to this brilliant Stratos IV is the fourth rocket in the project’s series. The hope is to reach an altitude of 100km, thereby
team. This is an incredible challenge from which winning the student race to space. It’s an ambitious step forward from the three previous Stratos projects:
we are learning all the time – including about
using our coatings on rockets! We’ve recently Stratos I Stratos II+ Stratos III
coated the presentation rocket’s nose cone and
recovery section in fluorescent orange so it can A two-stage solid rocket, A hybrid rocket, launched Set out to reclaim the European
be found easily on touch down. launched in 2009 to an altitude in October 2015, broke the Altitude record in 2018 but failed
of 12.5km, setting the European altitude record at 21.5km due to an in-flight anomaly
Altitude Record caused by pitch roll coupling


AeroDelft and
Project Phoenix

AeroDelft is a team formed by 35 students from
23 different countries studying at the TU Delft
and three other universities across Europe, from
Bachelor to PhD level. As a member of the Idaflieg
and the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, the
goal of the AeroDelft team is to inspire the next
generation of engineers and challenge norms to
promote sustainable aviation.

Inspired by the progress over the last two
decades in sustainable aviation, the team decided
to take on the next challenge: flying an aircraft
using liquid hydrogen.

Project Phoenix, the team’s flagship project, Inspired by projects such as Airbus BLADE, this expertise to help in application.
aims to design, build, and fly the world’s first drag reduction system is at the cutting edge The talented team from AeroDelft revealed the
liquid hydrogen-powered fuel cell aircraft. of aerodynamic efficiency and will reduce the
Phoenix is the first of its category to have a range aircraft’s fuel consumption by over 10%. Similar design of their unmanned prototype earlier this
of 2000km, which will allow the pilot to fly all systems on a larger scale could revolutionize year in April. The scaled prototype is expected to
around Europe on one tank of hydrogen: safely, future aircraft design. fly for the first time later this year. The first flight
quietly and without carbon emissions. of the full aircraft with hydrogen is timetabled
AeroDelft’s focus on sustainability and for 2021, and there is much work for us all to do
Phoenix will also pioneer the implementation efficiency in aviation is complementary to the before then.
of Boundary Layer Suction: a form of active flow objectives of AkzoNobel. We support AeroDelft by
control over the wings that allows for retarding providing our high-performing aerospace coatings
flow separation and reducing overall skin friction. for the aircraft as well as giving technical


“Partnerships with
organisations such as
AkzoNobel are crucial.
They allow us to go beyond
what would otherwise
be possible by a group
of students … bringing
sustainable aviation one
step closer.”

Liam Megill
Team Manager, AeroDelft

Students are our future

Not just our business, but the aerospace
industry as a whole, benefits from inspired
students. By helping them to run projects
like Phoenix and Stratos IV we can keep
their dreams alive as they progress into
the world of work. This will feed into their
roles within the business and help them
to develop the innovative technologies and
products that our industry relies on.

The work of these two great teams also
serves as a great reminder of what one
can encounter on the path to innovation
– that our biggest learnings come from
experimenting, testing, and sometimes
from failure itself.


An increasing 1 Color development
palette of To measure color, we use
color tools spectrophotometers, which gauge a
light beam's intensity as a function of its color
When it comes to color, the industry demands faster and more (wavelength). The BYK Mac I spectrophotometer
accurate color reproduction every year. To meet this demand, is a highly sophisticated yet portable, device often
color technology is continually developing. Having a wide range used to support in identifying the make up of a
of color tools available is invaluable when it comes to helping coating. It is unique as it measures multi-angle
aerospace companies create and maintain a color palette. color, as well as sparkle and graininess, for total
color matching.
We have all become so used to modern, ensuring consistent reproduction of a
sophisticated liveries that utilize company’s brand livery across an entire In combination with Comet FDT – an internal
many colors. In this way, it is easy fleet for invisible repairs or painting new color development tool developed by AkzoNobel,
to forget that Eurowhite was the standard for planes. we can predict a paint recipe to match the
aircraft only a few decades ago. The industry measured coating.
has come a long way as airlines and customers Today’s color tools are incredibly
find new ways to use colors as a means of sophisticated, but the process can be deemed 2 Automation of
expression. similar to cooking. Each paint color has its color development
own unique recipe made up of the ingredients Once a color formula has been predicted
More colors also leads to more expectations that go into creating it. By understanding those
when it comes to color. It may be as simple as ingredients, you can make the same delicious by our software, it is usually manually sprayed
reproducing a favorite color for a private customer dish every time. The color tools used to enable onto a panel to check the match between the
to match their plane to their car. Or it may be this process tend to fall into three areas. original and the created recipe. In order match
it correctly, this process will be repeated a
number of times to come to the perfect match.

This process is very labor and paint intensive.
Therefore, AkzoNobel developed robotics that
can take away the human element and allow
for spraying of up to 30,000 colors on a single
run. This is great for developing new product
lines of solid colors without metallics or
special effects.


3 Constant great way for us to present color trends to aerospace distributors could use this with
delivery of color designers, allowing them to scroll through a private jet customers. The AMV should be used
Because the colors we deliver to our variety of color panels on an iPad. In the near in combination with MIXIT – our cloud based
future, it will also be able to render colors in a color database to find, create and save own color
customers need to be spot on the first time 3D space, to show how they are affected by real recipes that they can then mix themselves.
and every time, we have created the Shading life influences like shadows, reflections and
software which helps our production facility with different light sources. iColor also provides a The trend in color tools is moving towards a
color control and correction. The software takes valuable starting point for designers when it ‘single source of truth’ using digital rather than
away possible batch variation by identifying the comes to color development, offering them a physical representations. Everyone’s eyes see
difference between the required color and the grid of color points that have good potential colors differently, and that is one of the key
batch produced. It analyzes the composition and to be made into paint. motivations for using a single digital source
tell you whether it is correct. It can even offer that can be used everywhere for total consistency.
advice about what other elements to add to the In the search for the right color, the The developments in color tools means that
mix to ensure the result is perfect. Automatchic Vision (AMV) can also be used. AkzoNobel could measure the paint color in
The AMV is a more compact, hand-held system, Sydney, create the required formula in Bangalore
4 Inspiring designers used for highly accurate measurements of solid and spray it in Leicester – all by using digital
The iColor Design app is another source and effect colors, widely used in automotive but means.
of inspiration for designers. It is a with great potential in aerospace. For instance,

Fig VII. Color in aircraft liveries: developments over time

First all-metal airliners (Boeing 247, Aircraft liveries started to get painted to revamp airline identities by painting the entire
Douglas DC-2, Douglas DC-3) entered aircraft fuselage in one or several single bold colors and changing logos. The color
service. Paint was expensive, fairly idea began to spread worldwide, largely in the form of 'Eurowhite' liveries in which
heavy, had poor adherence to metal white was the dominant color. White aircraft could readily accept major elements of
lessee liveries, and could equally rapidly revert to lessor liveries on return.
and was prone to damage.
All-over colored liveries
Bare metal aircraft

1920s 1930s 1960s 1970s 2000s

Adoption of First painted liveries: Rise of popularity of Billboard

'speed line' Flying Colors liveries

Aimed to streamline aircraft visually by reducing the Primarily to protect metal from corrosion and Billboard liveries place the airline title centre stage in the livery,
staccato impact of their cabin windows. They included increase longevity, These liveries involve often at the expense of the speed line. Early adopters of the
other decorative elements like stylised lightning rods, Billboard liveries included Union de Transports Aériens (UTA),
multiple alternative colorways. A variant of Flying Colors
feathers, moustaches, national flags, colors involved decorating tail fins in different designs (images Seaboard World Airlines, Hughes Airwest. and Western's. Pan Am's
and elements of the airline's title and emblem. final liveries were celebrated Billboard examples.
of different animals and birds, ethnic).

AkzoNobel has a passion for paint. We’re experts in the proud craft of making paints and coatings, setting the
standard in color and protection since 1792. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International,
Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. Headquartered in the Netherlands, we are
active in over 150 countries and employ around 35,000 talented people who are passionate about delivering the
high performance products and services our customers expect.
For more information please visit
© 2019 Akzo Nobel N.V. All rights reserved.
AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings is an ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and AS9100 certified company.

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