Cost Analysis - Water Dispersible CARC Transition

Analysis of Costs and Benefits Associated with a Department of Defense Transition from Current Chemical Agent Resistant Coatings to a Water Dispersible Alternative

Executive Summary
In response to newly instated local and federal restrictions on Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) emissions, the Department of Defense (DOD) is in the process of replacing its current solvent-borne Chemical Agent Resistant Coatings (CARC) with CARCs that are in compliance with these restrictions. One alternative is Water Dispersible CARC (WD-CARC).

WD-CARC contains 1.5 pounds per gallon of VOCs and no HAPs. In addition to these environmental advantages, there is evidence that WD-CARC is the more cost-effective coating system. Demonstrations have shown that WD-CARC is advantageous over solvent-borne 3.5 VOC CARC in transfer efficiency, painting time, process waste, and durability. The purpose of this study was to report demonstrations that observed these advantages and extrapolate their data to predict potential cost benefits of a DOD transition to WD-CARC.

Results showed annual cost savings for DOD depot facilities and substantial long-term cost savings over the duration of coated vehicles’ expected service life. These results, taken with the contention that WD-CARC is a “drop-in” replacement (meaning replacement with minimal added expenses such as equipment), suggest that WD-CARC is a viable alternative. MIL-C-53039 Type II, the 1.5 VOC version of this MIL specification, was also compared and evaluated as a possible alternative. Implications of this study, limitations of the coating system as well as an additional method of reducing cost and waste are discussed.