The University of Dayton Research Institute will use a new $60 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory to support the development of advanced aerospace coating protection systems, the university announced Wednesday.

The five-year award to UDRI’s Nonstructural Materials division will cover research and development of coatings and technologies designed to prevent corrosion and erosion damage to aerospace structures.

The idea is to reduce system maintenance time and cost, the university said.

Researchers will also work to develop testing that will better predict the lifespan of new protective systems and materials in the field.

Air Force photo

“One of the most important ways to help extend the life of an aircraft is to prevent damage from corrosion and erosion,” Matt Rothgeb, group leader for coatings, corrosion and erosion at UDRI and principal investigator, said in UDRI’s announcement. 

“We’ve led research, development, testing and evaluation of coatings and corrosion-prevention technologies for nearly 20 years, so we’ve seen first-hand the effects corrosive damage can have on the safety, affordability and availability of aerospace systems across the Air Force and the aerospace community as a whole. Aircraft coatings are critical to mitigating corrosion and erosion of structural components.”

Work will be performed in labs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as well as at Curran Place in Dayton, where much of UDRI’s work is based.

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