Cheap New Coating Could Enhance Aircraft Aerodynamics

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Rick Stenberg, the CEO of Coval Molecular Coatings, said this week at the CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium that his product could potentially provide a super-thin, lightweight, smooth and durable coating for aircraft, minimizing parasite drag and preventing dirt and ice from sticking to the surface. The nano-coating won't peel or flake, he said, and has been used in a variety of applications from boat hulls to hangar floors to graffiti-prevention programs on bridges. It's also inexpensive, at less than 30 cents per square foot.

The coating meets high air-quality standards, according to the company website, with low VOCs and no known carcinogenic components. The material bonds with surfaces at a molecular level, becoming one with the surface it is applied to. The coating is available with a gloss, satin, or matte finish, and protects surfaces from moisture, mold, stains, scratches, and graffiti. Stenberg said he has been in discussions with at least one major aircraft manufacturer and a helicopter manufacturer interested in using the coating on carbon-fiber rotor blades and polycarbonate windscreens. AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with him at the Symposium; click here to listen to the podcast.