United States. This will allow the U.S. Army Army Engineering and Research Laboratory (CRREL) to develop new coating technologies for cold climates.
Treat Island, Maine, in Fairbanks, Alaska and Hanover are the new coating testing facility to withstand and even mitigate ice adhesion and corrosion. The announcement was made by the Cold Regions Engineering and Research Laboratory (CRREL) at the U.S. Army Army Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Hanover, New Hampshire.
"These are durable assets that will help us understand the durability of new coatings and surface treatments to transition these technologies to protect real assets in the field," said the research materials engineer and leader of ERDC's CRREL Ice Adhesion Facility. Emily Asenath-Smith.
"We will track the weather and have camera monitoring at each site, so that researchers will have visual and meteorological data to combine with data on coating performance at each location," Asenath-Smith continued.
Asenath-Smith collaborated for several years with ERDC's Paint Technology Experience Center, led by Dr. Rebekah Wilson, at the Engineering and Construction Research Laboratory (CERL) in Champaign, Illinois, to establish the new facility.
"CERL has had the ability to expose coatings to the exterior conditions of their surroundings for a long time. Across the military and federal government, the coldest place they've tested coating technologies is in Champaign, so our new facility is a huge expansion of capabilities," Asenath-Smith added.
"This ability, to test coatings in these cold and tremendously inhospitable climates, is completely new for a federal laboratory," Dr. Wilson said.
"It looks like it's going to open up a lot of possibilities for developing new coating technologies for cold climates," Wilson said.
"Cold water freezes in the winter, and in this environment, the coated test panels are exposed to cyclic saltwater immersion, freeze-thaw conditions and solar irradiation, some common estimates are that one year on Treat Island is equivalent to six years inland," Asenath-Smith noted.
"We had to build a monitoring system that stood on its own without human interaction for up to eight months," said Olivier Montmayeur, a CRREL research mechanical engineer who retrofitted part of the facility on Treat Island in November.
The facility in Hanover was implemented in October 2022. A system was erected in Fairbanks in August 2022.
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