Luna’s Corrosion and Coating Evaluation System is an Air Force SBIR Success Story

Reducing the Costs of Aircraft Corrosion

Corrosion prevention and control represents a significant driver of costs for the United States Armed Forces.  For the Air Force alone, multi-billion dollar annual expenditures are needed to combat corrosion of aircraft.  The most effective means of corrosion control is through protective coatings.  In partnership with the Air Force though the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program Luna has developed a new technology that improves upon laboratory evaluation of aerospace coatings.  The Corrosion and Coatings Evaluation System (CorRES) offers a better way to measure the ability of coatings to protect aircraft structures from corrosion, which can lead to accelerated development and adoption of high performance coatings (Figure 1).  CorRES was recently featured by the Air Force as a SBIR Transition Success Story (

Figure 1. The Corrosion and Coating Evaluation System (CorRES) test rack and docking platform assembly with multi-sensor panel array, standard test panels, and mass loss coupons.


Conventional Coating Tests Are Lacking

Existing test methods are subjective measures of coating performance.  They rely on relatively simple visual inspections of coated test panels.  There is no quantifiable result of the robustness of the coatings and corrosion inhibitors during accelerated tests.  Consequently, the ability of developers or users to compare the relative performance of various coatings and select the most effective system for a given application is decreased.

The Future of Coating Testing

Our CorRES measures the ability of coatings to protect aircraft structures quantitatively.  It can be applied in any environment currently utilized for coating evaluation testing including at outdoor exposure sites or within accelerated test chambers.  Sensor panels, which are prepared, painted, and tested like traditional panels, are used to measure the ability of a coating to protect a substrate from the environment as well as inhibit corrosion at a defect (Figure 2).  Measurements include the barrier properties of the intact coating and the corrosion rate of the engineering alloy or dissimilar metal couple of interest at a defect.

Figure 2. Multi-sensor panel with interdigitated electrode (IDE) sensors to quantify coating barrier properties (Gold [Au] IDE), free corrosion rate of an engineering alloy (Aluminum [Al] IDE fabricated from AA7075-T6) and galvanic corrosion (Aluminum/Stainless Steel [Al/SS] IDE fabricated from AA7075-T6 and 316 stainless steel).


Corrosion and Coating Sensors Are Available Now for Purchase Online

The CorRES system and accessories, in addition to our corrosion monitoring system, are available for purchase online at .


This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory under Contract No. FA8501-13-C-0026.  The content of the information does not necessarily reflect the position of the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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