Peelable Topcoat Release System Leaves Basecoats Intact

A requirement to temporarily re-paint, an Agusta 109 helicopter in Argentine military colours resulted in the formulation of a special ‘peelable’ interlayer coating by Indestructible Paint Ltd of Birmingham.

“Acquired” by 846 Naval Air Squadron during the Falklands campaign in 1982, the helicopter is now kept at the RNAS Museum at Yeovilton. It will be displayed to mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands campaign this year.

Conventional strippable (or peelable) spray booth coatings, first tested for this application, were found to be unsuitable but extensive laboratory and trial work by Indestructible’s technicians produced a successful alternative.

Designated IP40027, the new peelable coating has been applied over the existing Special Forces livery on the helicopter and over-coated in the original Argentine military colours. The latter, a two pack polyurethane material, was also produced by Indestructible Paint Ltd.

The IP40027 interlayer will be removed by peeling at the end of the display period. This will simultaneously remove the topcoat and leave the Naval Air Squadron colours intact as an historical reference for the future.

It is envisaged that IP40027 and its further developments, including water based versions, will enable many other semi-permanent top-coat applications in aerospace and industrial markets in the future.

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