Adhesives Magazine

Case Study: PPG Aerospace Coatings Add Character to Cathay Pacific Jet

Eight custom colors of topcoat were applied to the third edition of "The Spirit of Hong Kong."

July 1, 2014

Coatings by PPG Industries’ aerospace business create the colorful characters and “The Spirit of Hong Kong” livery on Cathay Pacific Airways’ Boeing 777-300ER airplane, painted to support the “Hong Kong: Our Home” campaign of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. The livery features a dark green fuselage with silhouettes of the 110 winners in an online contest calling on Hong Kong people to submit creative entries that illustrate the true spirit of the city.

PPG Aerospace Coatings Add Character to Cathay Pacific Jet
Coatings by PPG Industries’ aerospace business create the colorful characters and “The Spirit of Hong Kong” livery on Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777-300ER airplane. (Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific Airways.)

“With an aircraft as visible as ‘The Spirit of Hong Kong,’ it was important for Cathay Pacific to have confidence that it would be a showpiece as it flies around the world,” said Kent Wong, technical services manager for Cathay Pacific. “Having worked closely with PPG Aerospace, we knew we could count on their products to perform and on their people to provide the exceptional service we needed.”

“PPG Aerospace was honored to help Cathay Pacific create the special livery,” said Terence Cheng, PPG coatings segment manager, Hong Kong. “Cathay Pacific has long been a PPG Aerospace coatings customer, and PPG supplied coatings for the first and second ‘Spirit of Hong Kong’ liveries as well.”

Eight custom colors of DESOTHANE® HS/CA 8800 buffable topcoat by PPG Aerospace were applied over DESOPRIME® HS/CA 7700 primer and waterborne chromate-free DesoGel EAP-12 conversion coating and adhesion promoter pretreatment. The high-solids formulations of the topcoat and primer result in a lower percentage of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

DesoGel EAP-12 pretreatment provides an effective, easy-to-apply and eco-friendly alternative to traditional chromated conversion coatings. It dries to a thin blue durable coating that provides protection to the metal airframe substrate and adhesion to the primer. DesoGel EAP-12 pretreatment has proven to improve coatings adhesion, significantly reducing rivet rash when used as recommended.

Before application, the metal surface is cleaned to establish a water break-free surface. DesoGel EAP-12 pretreatment can be sprayed or wiped on. No rinsing is required, simplifying application, reducing water consumption, and allowing waste to be neutralized and treated as process water waste. It is colored blue to provide better visibility. PPG Aerospace also offers DesoGel EAP-9 clear pretreatment.

DesoGel EAP-12 pretreatment is the recommended adhesion promoter for use under DESOPRIME HS/CA 7700 series primers as well as DESOPRIME CF/CA 7502 chromate-free primer.

Cheng said the PPG Aerospace application support center in Suzhou, China, worked closely with Cathay Pacific to produce paint samples for color matching as well as the blended coatings. “With eight colors needed in a short time period, the PPG Aerospace team at ASC-Suzhou worked quickly to provide the samples and specific size packages of the blended paints.”

The aircraft was painted by Taikoo Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd. in Xiamen, Fujian, China.


 For more information, visit www.cathaypacific.com or www.ppgaerospace.com