As mentioned in my earlier newsletters, changes are being made to the Army's CARC topcoat specifications, Mil-DTL-53039 and Mil-DTL-64159.
At the time of our last newsletter in August 2010, the ARL, the group within the Army responsible for these specifications, had pushed back the date that no new batches of 53039 Type I and II or 64159 Type I topcoats would be approved to sometime in the first quarter of 2011. The first quarter has come and gone and this timetable obviously has not been met, probably because of objections and concerns from the contractors who had large commitments to use the old products on their long-running projects. A new deadline is not being mentioned at this time, but it is speculated to be no earlier than the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2011. As stated before, no new batches of silica-based CARC coatings will be approved past this new deadline. Once a firm deadline date is set, AeroCoat will issue notice immediately so that you, the users of these products, can plan accordingly.
Most new contracts using CARC given out in 2011 will be based on using the polymeric-based CARC coatings. In anticipation of this fact, ARL has issued new CARC specifications for 53039 and 64159. Specifically, effective January 24, 2011 Revision D of spec Mil-DTL-53039 was issued as was Revision B of spec Mil-DTL-64159. You can click on the links listed to read or download your own copy of the latest revisions. But please note that Types I and II of 53039 and Type I of 64159 are not even listed as available options in these new Revisions. Thus we must all be prepared for the day when this old technology is no longer available.
While there is a bit of uncertainty surrounding the timing of the changes to the CARC topcoat specification, the good news is that AeroCoat will be prepared for both short-term and long-term changes to this specification. We will continue to stock a wide variety of colors of the 53039 Type I material while slowly building our inventory of the 53039 Type IV material as well. AeroCoat welcomes blanket orders for the 53039 Type I material while supplies last. Remember, while no new batches of 53039 will be approved for the Type I material after the announced change date, if you have Type I material and it is within shelf-life, you still can use it for your projects and government contracts. Feel free to call me and I will answer your specific questions as best I can on this issue.