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Sigma Coatings USA Licenses Tough-Grip Coating From TRI/Austin

Published on 2004-03-18. Author : SpecialChem

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 18, 2004--New high-performance, environmentally friendly non-skid coating is now commercially available for Navy aircraft carriers, amphibious warfare ships, surface combatant, Coast Guard vessels, MSC and other challenging applications.

There are few environments more challenging than the surface of a Navy aircraft carrier. A non-skid coating must stand up to tail-hook impacts from landing aircraft, heavy vehicular traffic, oil, chemical and fuel spills, intense sunlight and persistent salt spray. A poorly performing non-skid coating could compromise safety on the aircraft carrier flight deck during flight operations. That is why the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Carrier Program Office and the fleet have non-skid coatings on their list of top management concerns.

In order to improve fleet readiness and lower total ownership costs, NAVSEA desires a coating that can withstand more landings and less- frequent replacement. To further compound the challenge, the coating must comply with environmental regulations including the Clean Air and Water Acts, NESHAP and EPA state regulatory controls.

TRI/Austin received Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I and Phase II awards from NAVSEA to develop an improved non-skid coating that could meet these requirements. Dr. George Hansen, principal investigator of the coatings formulation team, noted that, "We were able to develop a primer system that was solvent free yet had very high adhesion as measured in lap-shear tests and impact studies."

"The composition L coating for landing areas withstood over 12,500 landings or traps on the USS Truman during the 2003 Iraq conflict. This is the first zero VOC coating to meet MIL-PRF 24667," said Dexter Myers, vice president of defense business development. "The composition G coating for general areas was tested on the USS Kennedy and passed with flying colors."

"As part of the SBIR program, we are tasked with not only solving the problem but also providing a product. To properly commercialize Tough- Grip(tm) coatings, we need someone with expertise in manufacturing, distribution and support of marine coatings. That's where Sigma Coatings USA comes into the picture."

Ian Scarth, vice president, marine division at Sigma Coatings USA Inc., said, "Development of the Tough-Grip coating was brought to our attention by our customers. We found that it fit well with our marine coatings product line and were pleased that we could reach a licensing agreement with TRI/Austin. This is a high-profile issue in the Navy and we are excited to be part of the solution."

About TRI/Austin

TRI/Austin specializes in engineering material solutions for defense and government applications. Areas of expertise include coatings, composites and nondestructive testing. Other TRI/Austin innovations that are commercially available include Bond-Coat and Ecomass(R) compounds. Bond-Coat is specified on Naval submarines' connectors to prevent cathodic delamination. It is also used in the down-hole and offshore applications for rubber to metal bonds in extreme environments. Ecomass compounds are environmentally friendly lead substitutes used for a number of applications, including ammunition practice rounds and radiation shielding applications. TRI/Austin along with other investors formed Ideas to Market to commercialize Ecomass compounds.

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