August 4, 2008
Stewart Systems Debuts Nontoxic Epoxy Primer
Stewart Aircraft Finishing Systems introduced EkoPoxy, a new waterborne two-part catalyzed epoxy primer that also contains a proprietary corrosion inhibitor. No oxidation, no rust, no toxic vapors. Pretty cool. Oh, and it’s tough enough to resist a pretty good thumb dig into a coated fabric fabric surface. (It recovered shortly thereafter.)
Company principal Doug Stewart told us EkoPoxy was developed to protect the metal fuselage and any steel parts from corrosion. “It’s an extremely durable, tough paint, and we’re trying to keep those metal airplanes from rusting. With a lot of primers, you have to be very careful what type of paint you put over them because they dissolve them. This primer is impervious to just about anything we can throw at it: MEKs, lacquers, all your high-solvent rubs, even long-term exposure in warm salt water or salt air.” Good news if your plane’s on floats, or if you tie it down in a salt air environment.
EkoPoxy is also STC’d, and the company is working on getting its paints Mil-Spec’d. Stewart added, “We work to a higher standard. We’re the only fabric and paint system in the industry that’s totally nonhazardous, meets all OSHA EPA requirements and is noncombustible. You can use it indoors in a closed-room environment all day, with no health or hazard issues. It’s a catalyzed product that doesn’t require a fresh air breathing system. It’s safe to use—we just require a good-quality charcoal respirator. And you’re not going to blow your shop up because it will absolutely not burn in a liquid or a cured state.”
Stewart noted that their technology has been around for about 14 years, and that solvents are on their way out. They can ship the materials worldwide with no hazmat or special shipping requirements. He added they hadn’t received any reports from the field about cracking or crazing on fabric aircraft.
EkoPoxy can be cleaned up with water, and is now available. Check out Stewart Aircraft Finishing Systems’ Web site for more information, or call them at their Cashmere, Washington, facility at 888/356-7659.
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