High performance is demanded of aircraft finishes because of the severity of the environmental conditions to which they are exposed. Many aircraft today operate long range, and encounter a wide variety of climatic conditions. Cyclic condensation occurs during the various temperature and pressure fluctuations, and keel areas may contain large quantities of water containing dissolved salts as well as aggressive fluids such as phosphate ester hydraulic fluids, ester lubricants, fuels etc. Skin temperatures can change rapidly during flight and may even reach 130°C, by kinetic heating. Erosive influences are met whilst flying through rain, dust and hail, and as the whole structure is vibrating under changing stress, cracking tendencies of coatings are accentuated. C. E. Hoey has reviewed aircraft finishes against this background.
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