U.S. Navy Coating Development Slows Discoloration

USS George Washington
USS George Washington

Published Jul 31, 2019 7:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

A pigment package designed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is starting to slow discoloration of the “haze gray” exterior coating on U.S. Navy surface ships.

While many paint manufacturers had produced new coating technologies that solved a variety of other problems, such as corrosion and delamination, some ships still showed discoloration in as little as 18 months. Additionally, different coatings from different manufacturer's fade to different hues, resulting in an inconsistent appearance between the original coatings and any in-service touch-ups or repairs.

Coatings that contained the new pigments proved to have excellent color stability and to lower solar temperature load, were five times harder than silicone alkyd, had improved gloss retention and chemical resistance and provided greater barrier properties.

The most recent vessel to receive the new package is USS George Washington (CVN 73), and coatings manufacturer Sherwin-Williams won the Society for Protective Coatings Military Coatings Project Award of Excellence for its new topcoat paint incorporating the new pigment after it was used on the vessel.