GracoRoberts and Corrigan Air Center – An Extreme Paint Temperature Success Story for Circumstances Beyond Control
When a customer orders a paint job, reducing AOG downtime is of utmost importance to get the aircraft back in service. The paint shop is tasked with securing the right protective coatings and following detailed directions and timelines for mixing and application - with little to no room for error.
Corrigan Air Center was contracted to paint an Embraer Phenom 300 corporate aircraft with an Embraer paint scheme and they were looking for a distributor who would provide expert technical consultation and an exact color match for their job if they chose to use a different paint manufacturer. GracoRoberts’ veteran Field Paint Specialist Dan Johnson was confident that his four decades of experience in the paint industry would help the Corrigan team achieve their desired outcomes. Dan collaborated with the GracoRoberts’ Intermix Color Lab and Jill Kokkinen of AkzoNobel to review the paint system formulas and requirements for the project. The selected AkzoNobel products included 10p8-11 Corrosion Primer, 10p30-8 Primer/Surfacer, G10015 Snow White Base Coat, and 4450 Clear Coat. The GracoRoberts’ Intermix color lab mixed and packaged all of the product in-house and shipped the correct product amounts, with a little extra to prepare for unexpected spills or application errors. As part of the GracoRoberts commitment to service, Dan made travel arrangements to provide on-site consultation and hands-on assistance during the paint shoot – including proper spray gun configuration, product mixing, and painting help. The Corrigan team did not have any experience with the AkzoNobel paint system but were confident they could get the job done with help from Dan and Jill.
Three days before the shoot, one of the paint technicians tested positive for COVID-19 and the facility had to restrict visitors for safety reasons. However, the job still needed to get done, even with limited staff. There was no second business jet available to use instead and no option for extended downtime. This unexpected turn of events prompted GracoRoberts and AkzoNobel to conduct their first-ever virtual paint demo. To prepare, the GracoRoberts team provided the painters with all necessary technical data sheets, painting tips and tricks, spray gun product amounts, air cap sizing, and air pressure recommendations for every part of the application.
The Corrigan team began painting with Dan and Jill by their virtual side -- on speed-dial for troubleshooting and consultation. To make matters even more difficult, the Texas hangar was experiencing a heat wave, and Corrigan had to paint in 106F temperatures. Dan had prepared the Corrigan team with three different paint activators that would alleviate any paint processing issues. Chemically, paint is not designed to be sprayed at that high of a temperature, and the dry times between coats would be affected if alternate measures were not implemented. Dan consulted on sanding instructions and techniques to get the job done in a realistic time frame for their crew and maintain the necessary paint adhesion between coats.
The Corrigan team experienced very few issues and were able to buff out any areas of concern – which speaks volumes to their level of expertise.
At completion, the aircraft looked fantastic with no paint lines and a glass-like finish and their customer was extremely pleased with the paint job.
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