Landing Gear Coatings

Topic #: AF2003-109
Status:Phase II completed December 2006
TRL: 6
Patent: Pending.
Need: Impact and corrosion protection from Foreign Object Debris (FOD).
Operational Gap: Tape technologies used to protect the landing gear from corrosion are unable to withstand FOD.

Corrosion resistant coatings are used to protect aircraft landing gear components that are made of high-strength steel. Super-steel alloys are susceptible to corrosion and subsequent cracking when exposed to the environment. The damage rapidly diminishes the strength of the components, resulting in costly landing gear failure. The unique design of the C-17 allows it to take off and land on dirt runways that are often laden with foreign object debris (FOD). The current C-17 landing gear coating is damaged by impacting FOD, leading to weakened component conditions. In addition, the current coating system utilizes cadmium plating and a chromium containing primer. Both materials are severe human and environmental toxins and are being restricted from use in many applications. They also have large costs associated with their application and disposal. TRI/Austin is developing a completely different coating system that is resistant to the high-energy impact damage caused by FOD. The coating cures rapidly, does not contain volatile organic compounds and is non-toxic when cured. It can be easily applied or repaired in the field or maintenance depot. The combination of this impact resistant coating and a non-toxic primer will replace the poor-performing, toxic coating system currently in use.