High altitudes, strong UV light, substantial temperature fluctuations, corrosive exhaust fumes and improper cleaning impair the paint on aircraft and lead to oxidation of the coating. This process occurs slowly and is often only noticed too late. Over time, an aeroplane or helicopter becomes chalky and matt.
Oxidized paint is also very porous. It stubbornly traps oil, soot, insects and dust and is therefore difficult to dry. Treating the aircraft surface with wax will temporarily improve the appearance because the pores of the paint are filled with wax, but it will not last long. Wax washes off quickly and since wax treatment is a labour-intensive process, it is certainly not a permanent solution.
A ceramic coating can prevent oxidation and provides an immediately visible and long-lasting shine. This safe and relatively quick process restores the gloss of the ink by exploiting the thickness of the ink. The loss of gloss caused by oxidation occurs because the top layer of ink is damaged and light is no longer effectively reflected. By carefully removing this damaged layer and creating an even surface, the aircraft is given a fresh layer of clean paint which can then be sealed.
The ceramic coating bonds with the paint and guarantees extremely durable protection against oxidation, as the paint is now protected against chemical influences and UV rays. The coating resists the action of degreasing agents or fuel and, if properly cared for, will last for many years without having to be reapplied.
The application of ceramic coatings in the cabin area of aeroplanes and helicopters increases the scratch resistance of the materials and improves the aesthetic appearance of the interior.
During ceramic coating, experts check exactly how much or little colour can be removed. The total thickness of aircraft paint varies from machine to machine, but can usually be assumed to be around 100 microns.
In most cases, the amount of paint removed is so small that it is difficult to measure a difference in paint thickness even with a digital thickness gauge. A ceramic sealant can usually be applied within a few days and is often cheaper and faster than a new coat of paint.
The previous colour correction and the smooth new ceramic layer create a surface that ideally reflects the light - this leads to increased gloss and a more colour intensive appearance. However, removing oxidised layers of colour not only improves the gloss of the aircraft, but also proves beneficial when cleaning the machine. When the oxidation is removed, it also removes entangled contamination from engine oil and exhaust soot. The new smoother surface is then easy to clean.
In today's competitive commercial environment, whether you own just one aircraft or a fleet of aircraft, it is crucial to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency. Ceramic coatings excel in this area and are far superior to other aerospace surface treatment methods. Contact us for more information on protecting aircraft paintwork with ceramic coatings.