Duncan Aviation Launches Green Initiative With New “Chrome-free” Paint Process

Duncan Aviation will phase the chrome-free paint process into its current aircraft paint work and by 2011, all aircraft painted at Duncan Aviation will use the new process.


LINCOLN, NEB. — Duncan Aviation announces a new green initiative with the introduction of its “chrome-free” paint process, which will be phased in at its Lincoln, Neb., and Battle Creek, Mich., paint facilities during fourth quarter this year.

Duncan Aviation partnered with Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings and Pantheon Enterprises and over the past several years they have collectively developed a new chrome-free paint process that is better for the enviroment, better for the paint technicians and better for the aircraft. Duncan Aviation has also worked closely with the FAA and most recently received approval to amend its proprietary FAA-Approved Paint Process to include these new processes and products.

Duncan Aviation will phase the chrome-free paint process into its current aircraft paint work and by 2011, all aircraft painted at Duncan Aviation will use the new process.

Traditional paint systems use an acid etch to remove impurities, a chromate conversion coating to seal and protect the aluminum and a zinc chromate primer as a second corrosion-resistant barrier, explains Mike Minchow, Duncan Aviation’s Paint and Interior Sales Manager. Duncan Aviation’s chrome-free paint process uses Pantheon’s PreKote® as a pretreatment alternative to the acid etch process and a Sherwin-Williams Chrome Hazard Free primer in place of the chromate conversion coating and traditional zinc chromate primer.

Every layer of the chrome-free paint system “adheres to itself,” explains Doug Bohac, Duncan Aviation’s Paint Shop Manager. “The combination of PreKote with a chromate free primer achieves better adhesion, less mil thickness, and improved flexibility. Our research has shown that it is more durable than conventional systems, cracks less and makes it more difficult for salt rain and water to cause corrosion.”

This new paint system has been applied on approximately 20 aircraft over the past year, Minchow says. The majority of the aircraft have been Falcons — including 7X, 2000, 900 and 50 models — but others have included Citation XL and 650 models and some Learjets.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with Duncan Aviation to make its paint process more environmentally friendly, as our chrome hazard free epoxy primers are strongly performing in the marketplace,” says J. Marc Taylor, Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Director of Sales. “Duncan Aviation is conducting itself as a market leader, by taking the necessary steps to embrace this green initiative.”

While the industry refers to the new paint systems as “green paint” or “chrome-free,” the paint could contain trace amounts of chromium, Bohac explains. Although a small trace of chromium might be present, the levels are low enough to meet the tolerances for EPA, OSHA and local, State and Federal disposal regulations.

“This new process has excellent benefits for all involved in the painting of an aircraft,” Minchow says. “We are excited that the process has been approved by the FAA and are thrilled to introduce it to all our customers.”

For detailed information about market drivers, performance and considerations for chrome-free paint processes, see “The Truth About Chrome-free Paint Systems,” a field guide written by several Duncan Aviation and other paint experts. A free copy can be downloaded at www.DuncanAviation.aero/fieldguides.

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