In Air Force technology, understanding the capacity of new materials to perform in the operational condition is foremost to change achievement. This is particularly important to scientists working to develop new, high-performance Air Force coating technologies.
Scientists at the Air Force Research Laboratory are now demonstrating a new corrosion and coating evaluation system, CorRES that measures the ability of coatings to protect aircraft structures by using sensor panels that perform electrochemical measurements during corrosion testing. CorRES records corrosion rate data throughout a test and transmits the data to a base station for evaluation. This enables researchers to know not only if a coating fails, but exactly when this occurs during a test.
Dr. Chad Hunter, the team leads for corrosion and erosion in the Systems Support Division at the AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate said, “By better understanding the corrosion performance of materials we put on an aircraft, we can help control corrosion costs and enable smart maintenance. Corrosion maintenance costs are more than $5 billion a year for the Air Force, so if we can better understand a material from the start, we can enable smart maintenance and ultimately reduce costs throughout the lifecycle.”
“Legacy systems do not produce time-based, quantitative measurements inside of the test chamber, but rather, these are taken after a panel is removed. There’s a lot of variability in corrosion tests, and CorRES allows us to monitor this variability and provides quantitative data that help us better understand a coating’s performance in the lab so we can project how it will perform in the operational environment.”
“With this system, we are able to get some granularity on performance. For example, you can test 20 primers, and they all may pass, but the pass is with a different degree of success. This will help us to determine which performed the best based on sensing data. We can pinpoint when change happens.”
The system produces a more exhaustive arrangement of information for analysts than current consumption testing frameworks using an arrangement of detecting components that can quantify free and galvanic erosion, covering obstruction properties and the impacts of the earth on covering materials in a solitary testing stage.
Not exclusively can the system be utilized as a part of the research center condition, however, it is additionally ready to gather test information at outside presentation destinations also. Failing to meet expectations coatings can be disposed of from screenings before in the testing procedure, in this manner streamlining capability endeavors and decreasing the time and expenses related to covering tests.
In addition to helping the Air Force to better understand corrosion issues, CorRES platforms are being sought out by industry to better assist their coating evaluation efforts.
In any case, the new testing technology will play a critical role as researchers develop new materials and technologies for aircraft across the spectrum.
Hunter said, “Multi-sensor panels and systems like CorRES provide us with useful information that can reduce costs as we develop next-generation materials for the warfighter.”