Advanced Surface Engineering Technologies for a Sustainable Defense – ASETSDefense – is an initiative sponsored by SERDP and ESTCP with the objective of facilitating the implementation of new, environmentally friendly technologies for surface engineering (coatings and surface treatments). These alternative surface engineering technologies protect weapons systems from environmental degradation, maintaining military readiness and reducing maintenance costs.

Surface Engineering Database

ASETSDefense has developed a relational database that provides access to documents and data required for making informed decisions on the implementation of clean coatings and surface treatments that do not contain toxic or hazardous chemical substances such as hexavalent chromium, cadmium and volatile organic compounds. The database includes detailed engineering data, background documents, and information on processes and products that have been validated, authorized, or implemented.

Technical Workshops

ASETSDefense organizes workshops approximately every 18 months that are intended to foster the exchange of information between research organizations, chemical and coating formulators and manufacturers, aerospace/defense repair facilities, and weapons systems and aircraft manufacturers concerning options, performance, and implementation of all types of alternatives that would benefit the environment or improve worker health and safety.

Alternative Coatings

The SERDP and ESTCP Weapons Systems and Platforms Program Area has developed a strategy to reduce use of cadmium (Cd) and hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) by 90% or more at Department of Defense (DoD) maintenance depots over the next five years. 

The strategy includes objectives, metrics, and actions to demonstrate how this reduction can be achieved.  The strategy employs site demonstrations and leverages DoD resources to replicate processes across the DoD depot community.  It also includes a recommended future path for success in the advanced coatings area. 

As part of this effort, installation-specific implementation plans were developed in coordination with Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD), Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE), and Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex (OC-ALC).  These efforts helped inform the strategy.  These implementation plans track to the overall Advanced Coating 5-Year Strategy and Roadmap, consist with DoD’s strategic vision as it pertains to Cr6+ and Cd reduction.