SERDP 2015 Project-of-the-Year Award for Weapons Systems and Platforms

(Initially Released December 7, 2015) Chemical Agent Resistant Coatings (CARC) are used by the Department of Defense (DoD) for the protection of military assets. Current solvent-borne and water-dispersible CARC topcoats contribute approximately 2.3 million pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) to the environment each year. For decades, the DoD has recognized the need to develop powder coatings, which contain no solvents, as a means to greatly reduce these emissions. The key challenges to developing powder coatings for CARC topcoats are achieving chemical warfare agent resistance, extremely low gloss, and superior exterior durability.                  


        Mr. Mark Wytiaz of Sherwin-Williams and his highly collaborative team of industry, academic, and military partners established a fundamental understanding of coatings materials and their interactions, which led to the successful development of a CARC powder topcoat technology. They produced three topcoats, in Tan 686, Green 383, and Black 37030, that together represent nearly 95% of the needs for the military market. The new CARC coatings use blends of incompatible resins, formulated with low loadings of highly efficient fillers and pigments, that are key to meeting the low-gloss requirement. 

The three CARC powder topcoats have been or are being qualified by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory against the military specification requirements for listing on the Qualified Products Database (QPD). Field trials at Spray Technique Analysis and Research for Defense and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany verified coating performance and validated the success of the project. Coatings products are currently in transition to Original Equipment Manufacturers, Depots, and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

These innovative powder coatings offer the benefits of a technology that is absent of solvent, emits nearly zero VOCs, can be recycled, and is compatible with existing CARC systems. In addition, testing to date proves that the exterior durability of this coating is superior to any liquid CARC system, supporting DoD’s initiative for corrosion prevention and mitigation.

For this outstanding work, Mr. Wytiaz and his project team received the 2015 SERDP Project-of-the-Year Award for Weapons Systems and Platforms. Project Overview

  Project Team

The Sherwin-Williams Company

  • Mark J. Wytiaz
  • Mark E. Walker
  • Edmund J. Mahn
  • Morgan S. Sibbald, Ph.D.
  • Donald V. Gruszka

Estron Chemical

  • Robert A. Auerbach, Ph.D.
  • Mike Miller

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

  • James H. Wynne, Ph.D.
  • Spencer L. Giles, Ph.D.

Stony Brook University

  • Prof. Clive R. Clayton, Ph.D.
  • Nicholas W. Heller

U.S. Army Research Laboratory

  • John A. Escarsega
  • Daniel A. Pope

Marine Depot Maintenance Command, Production Plant Albany

  • Steven H. Allen