High-Tech Coating Could Apply to Aircraft

Molecular bonding shows promise for surface protection.

Coval Molecular

Coval Molecular

A San Francisco company held a session at the CAFÉ Electric Aircraft Symposium promoting its covalent molecular bonding of nano particles. The company, Coval Molecular Coatings, uses a process that goes beyond coating materials, and actually bonds with the molecular structure of the surface it is protecting.

The inexpensive coating, less than 30 cents per square foot, is thin, light-weight, durable and smooth — protecting the surface from water, dirt, bugs and potentially icing. By minimizing parasite drag, the coating could improve the aerodynamic efficiency of light aircraft. In the past, non-stick surfaces have also been explored as potential anti-icing surfaces for aircraft, since much of the hazard of inflight icing comes from supercooled large droplets of moisture sticking on the airframe surface, then freezing. Coval products are currently used in industrial and marine applications as well as for graffiti-proofing.

CEO Rick Sternberg conducted a session at the Electric Aircraft Symposium exploring potential uses for his products in aviation applications, and said he has gotten interest from some manufacturers. The coating is available in a variety of finishes, including gloss, matte and satin.