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Scientists develop new paint colour for British Army vehicles

28 May 2013

AkzoNobel has developed a high-tech paint with a colour that is suitable for the desert environments where most military operations are focused.

Crown Copyright image reproduced courtesy of the Ministry of Defence

The new camouflage paint – 'Army Brown' – will replace the sand colour that has been used on Army vehicles since before the Second World War.

To produce the new colour the UK Ministry of Defence collected high resolution imagery in Afghanistan and flew rock and soil samples back  to Britain, where  a team at the government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory developed a colour optimised for vehicles operating in that environment.

AkzoNobel scientists were then asked to develop a new water-based camouflage coating that conformed with the colour requirements. Developed under the Intergard brand, the new Army Brown paint is similar to the tan colour used by the military in the US and Australia. It is designed to provide a better balance between arid, desert-like areas and the green zone with its lush vegetation.

AkzoNobel has developed a special temporary peelable coating which can be quickly sprayed or brushed onto the Army vehicles to provide a quick camouflage change and then peeled off. The revolutionary coating is capable of absorbing chemical warfare agents and stopping them getting through to the vehicle underneath. The contaminated coating can then be stripped off and disposed off. It also protects the vehicles against weathering and corrosion.

AkzoNobel scientists are currently working on further developments which would mean the coating would change colour when it absorbed toxic chemicals, alerting the soldiers that they are under chemical attack. Rather than just absorbing the chemicals it would also be able to neutralise them.

Army Brown is being used on the UK’s Foxhound light patrol vehicles. Army Brown has also been applied to some of the Warrior tracked armoured vehicles deployed to Afghanistan.

The Intergard coating was developed by AkzoNobel’s aerospace coatings team.


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