In a period of reduced acquisition and maintenance dollars, the Armed Forces must now be conscience of the service life of their vehicles. Systems originally designed to last only a few years are now entering into their 20 th year of service. Today's Army acquisition dollar must be stretched further than before to obtain a robust system that will require reduced maintenance, but be able to perform for 20-years and beyond. To this end, the Army has looked to the commercial vehicle industry, which has solutions to many of the issues they are facing. The development of Commercial Item Descriptions (CIDs) will allow manufacturers to qualify their materials based on performance characteristics. This paper will discuss testing currently being conducted on zinc-rich coating systems to develop a CID. This testing is being performed on moisture-cure zinc-rich coatings used with a standard CARC system. Their performance is being evaluated in both accelerated corrosion/laboratory and natural marine exposure tests.
Zinc-rich coatings are used in the corrosion protection of steel structures. These paints use zinc dust or particles as the pigment to provide sacrificial cathodic protection. These coatings are traditionally used on steel structures in natural atmospheric exposure (i.e., bridge and highway structures) to mitigate corrosion of the substrate. Recently these coatings have been implemented on Army vehicles to reduce corrosion.
These coatings are primarily being used for the repair of damaged components and upgrade of existing fielded equipment. Despite being used for many years in the bridge and highway industries, the long-term performance of these coatings is unknown in an Army vehicle environment. Often zinc-rich coatings are choosen either arbitrarily or based on product datasheets written for other industries and structures. This test program was developed to evaluate two zinc-rich coating materials for relative performance (compared with control samples) the results of which will ultimately be used to develop a commercial item description (CID) to qualify materials based on performance. This paper discusses the test results and progress towards development of a CID.