Archive: Mar 2023

Chemical Agent Resistant Coating

Comments Off on Chemical Agent Resistant Coating

Chemical Agent Resistant Coating is a paint commonly applied to military vehicles to provide protection against chemical and biological weapons.

The surface of the paint is engineered to be easily decontaminated after exposure to chemical warfare and biological warfare agents. The paint is also resistant to damage and removal by decontaminating solutions. Two-component systems (e.g. epoxy or polyester-based) are often employed. This coating is described in MIL-DTL-53072G.

As of 2018, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) led research and development activity for CARC and was the approving authority of CARC products for the Department of Defense (DoD).

Since 1985, U.S. Army Regulation 750-1 mandated the use of CARC systems on all tactical equipment. Regulations mandated the hardening of equipment (i.e. ground support equipment, tactical wheeled vehicles, and aircraft) against the impacts of chemical attacks and subsequent cleaning agents following contamination. These same regulations were followed by the Marine Corps and Air Force.

As of 1985, most military vehicles and equipment have a topcoat applied with camouflaged CARCs. These topcoats produced a non-porous finish that acted as a protectant against radioactive, biological and chemical contamination. CARC repelled chemical by preventing absorption, with chemicals beading up on the finish surface where they could be washed away.

CARC coatings were also used by government contractors who refurbish vehicles and parts for the U.S. military. Examples included Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs), High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), generators, containers and shelter exteriors.

Solvent-borne CARCs were developed in the early 1980s. The impetus for CARC development was the need to protect costly military equipment. Operation Desert Storm further increased concern of the potential for chemical attacks.

Since 2000, high-performance water-reducible CARCs were commonly used. These materials met DoD’s VOC objective of 1.8 lb/gal and contained no hazardous air pollutants.

The impetus for improved CARC formulations was to reduce the cost of material degradation for the DoD. An improved topcoat was composed to have 44% primary pigments and inorganic extenders, 24% resins, 30% solvent, and 2% additives. Formulations changed from inorganic to polymeric-based extenders in order to enhance the protective features of the topcoat and reduce the cost of material degradation. Additionally, air pollution regulations required reformulation of the coating’s solvent content to reduce the emission of hazardous air pollutants.

Read more: Chemical Agent Resistant Coating

CARC Paint

Comments Off on CARC Paint

CARC (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating) is a paint used on military vehicles to make metal surfaces highly resistant to corrosion and penetration of chemical agents.

Inhaling CARC during the painting and drying process can be harmful. Dry CARC poses no hazards, except during welding or sanding.

If you are concerned about exposure to CARC paint during your military service, talk to your health care provider or contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator to help you get more information from a health care provider.

How Veterans may have been exposed to CARC paint
Gulf War Veterans who painted combat vehicles and equipment during their military service may have been exposed to CARC paint or fumes without adequate respiratory protection.

Other Veterans who painted tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other motor pool equipment may have been exposed. Some civilian units and support units may have been exposed.

Learn more about exposure to CARC paint from the Army Public Health Center.

Health problems associated with CARC paint
Paint fumes present the most potential risk to users especially when CARC is spray painted, rather than applied with a brush or roller.

CARC paint contains several chemical compounds that can be hazardous when inhaled or exposed to the skin:

  • Isocyanyte (HDI) – Highly irritating to skin and respiratory system. High concentrations can cause: itching and reddening of skin; burning sensation in throat and nose and watering of the eyes; and cough, shortness of breath, pain during respiration, increased sputum production, and chest tightness.
  • Solvents – Inhaling high concentrations can cause coughing, shortness of breath, watery eyes, and respiratory problems, including asthma
  • Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) – High levels released during the drying process can cause kidney damage.

Read more: CARC Paint