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The Waterborne Symposium

Environmentally Friendly Coating Technologies

Mission Statement:

To administer the preeminent educational/technical forum in the United States directed to the science and technology of surface coatings and  to provide revenue to support and advance the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi.


Christopher J. Lyons - A Two-Pack Waterborne Polyurethane Topcoat for Military Aircraft

Christopher Lyons.jpg
Christopher Lyons.jpg

Christopher J. Lyons - A Two-Pack Waterborne Polyurethane Topcoat for Military Aircraft


Christopher J. Lyons
Defence Science & Technology Group, Australia
+613 9626 8213


Chris obtained his Ph.D. at Monash University and started his career at Dulux Australia in 1983 working in the Polymer Technology Group formulating new resins and latexes at the Clayton R&D laboratories in Melbourne. In 1986, Chris moved to the Refinish Group at Dulux, where he spent the next 12 years formulating new coatings for automotive repair applications. From 1998, he worked for PPG Industries for two years, followed by a short period with Dulux again, this time as Consultant to the Protective Coatings Group. This was followed by a two-year period at APS (Asia Pacific Specialty) Chemicals, formulating new latexes for adhesives applications. In 2003, Chris joined the Defence Science & Technology Group working in the Specialised Coatings Technology laboratories, where he has since undertaken research on new coatings and specifications for the ADF, including the development of waterborne coatings, chemical agent resistant coatings and colour-stable low solar-absorbing navy coatings.


Solventborne two-pack polyurethane paints have been widely used on Australia’s military equipment for the last 20-30 years. In efforts to reduce solvent emissions from these types of high-performance coatings, formulators of resins and coatings have undertaken research and development work in two broad directions – (1) high-solids solventborne and (2) water-dispersible systems.

Over the last ten years, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has moved gradually towards acceptance of high-solids solventborne products from US paint companies which have lower volatile organic compound (VOC) content than older two-pack coatings. More recently, moves towards the use of newer and more durable high-solids aerospace coatings, referred to as Advanced Performance Coatings (APCs), have offered the promise of better durability in Australia’s harsh climate.

A new two-pack polyurethane finish coating has been formulated at DST Group for military aircraft which offers a waterborne alternative to the APCs for exterior durability as well as substantial reductions in VOC emissions when compared with the high-solids products. Formulations in two grey colours for the F/A-18 aircraft have been developed which pass the technical requirements of defence paint specifications. Some of these results will be discussed along with further development work currently in progress.


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