Find substitute for Methylene Chloride in depaint operations at Hill AFB

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
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Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
Select Engineering Services
1544 N. Woodland Park Drive, STE #310, Layton, UT, -
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Caroline LeClair
Chemical Engineer
(801) 690-0486
Business Contact:
Rene Felker
(801) 528-5166
Research Institution:
ABSTRACT: This effort seeks to identify an effective paint remover that does not contain Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) and does not interfere with the metal removal process at the Hill Air Force Base Industrial Waste Water Treatment Plan (IWTP) while also meeting mil-spec requirements for aircraft landing gear maintenance. Aircraft maintenance activities generally involve disassembling major components of an aircraft, cleaning, degreasing, and coating removal (paint stripping). Methylene Chloride (MeCl) has been a long standing, effective paint stripping chemical used by the aerospace industries. However, MeCl is one of the toxic chemicals regulated by OSHA and a HAP regulated by EPA under the aerospace National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). Utilizing a systems engineering approach, SES will conduct a rigorous requirements analysis, followed by a comprehensive investigation of viable alternatives to MeCl containing paint removers. SES will conduct a screening analysis to ensure compatibility with the IWTP followed by bench-scale testing using government furnished condemned/cut landing gear components/segments. SES will then complete a comprehensive feasibility analysis to identify the best and most promising alternative for paint removal that does not contain HAPs, interfere with IWTP operations, and has the ability to conform to Military Specifications for coating removal. BENEFIT: A new paint removal alternative that can be successfully implemented at Hill AFB, especially one that will also eliminate the need for a media blast process following chemical immersion, will likely be suitable to most other paint removal operations. The outcome of this project is anticipated to enable Hill AFB to stay ahead of and successfully meet future regulatory restrictions, improve worker safety, and reduce environmental impacts while meeting production and performance requirements. In addition, an alternative chemical that does not contain chelators may allow the maintenance facilities to discharge spent process solutions to the IWTP instead of disposing them as a hazardous waste. The same solution may also be adopted by other landing gear maintenance facilities in private aerospace industries worldwide.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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