Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 45–47 | Cite as

Industry Updates


Combination of Techniques Used to Study Aircraft Topcoat Degradation

Taraneh Bozorgzad Moghim and a team of researchers from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom have used a surface analysis technique called time of flight-secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and atomic force microscopy to better understand how the high-performance organic coatings used on aircraft surfaces physically and chemically degrade after exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) and ozone at high altitudes. “The major source of degradation comes from ultraviolet radiation,” Moghim said. “With commercial aircrafts flying at altitudes between 9 and 13 km, their exposure to UV radiation and ozone significantly increases.”

The coating was subjected to UV and ozone exposure for varying lengths of time and then was analyzed using ToF-SIMS. “ToF-SIMS, which removes surface molecules with a pulsed ion beam, allowed us to characterize the coating before and after...

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