Concurrent Technologies Corp. is developing a laser for the Air Force Research Laboratory, with the goal of developing a system for removing paint from fighter and cargo aircraft.
CTC said it received a task order under the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment Program to continue its work with the AFRL on the system.
“The task to depaint fighter size and cargo size aircraft is substantial,” said Jim Arthur, a project manager and principal process engineer. “These processes also generate significant amounts of solid hazardous waste annually.”
The AFRL and CTC are working to combine laser technology with robotic manipulation systems that could form an environmentally-acceptable replacement for traditional coatings removal processes, the company said.
Currently, paint removal requires abrasive dry media and chemical paint removers that generate solid waste.
CTC and the laboratory have worked on laser paint removal since 1999 and have received three awards for the program, including two Environmental Security Technology Certification Program Project of the Year Awards and a Society of Automotive Engineers’ Environmental Excellence in Transportation Award.
Under a Navy contract, one of CTC’s subsidiaries is developing a minesweeping system for littoral combat ships.