Field of composites is rapidly growing in many industries such as aviation, energy and automotive industries. Composites are known to have a high strength to low weight ratio. Significant improvement in the performance of coatings used in the protection of military and civil aircraft has been achieved the last thirty years. Composite coatings are exposed to many environmental conditions, which can significantly affect their properties. In this research, UV light treatment on the surface of composite was introduced to examine its effects on the adhesion properties between the coating and substrate. A cross-cut test was conducted on the composite panels to assess the adhesion of paint to the substrate after the treatments. Coating performance analyses were also carried out using a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, water contact angle, and optical microscopic images. The first set of panels was treated with UV radiation for 0, 2, 4 and, 8 days, and the surface wettability was also assessed using the contact angle test. Two coats of paints, including a primer and top coat, were used, and the panels were exposed to UV radiation and immersed in water for 500 hrs and 1000 hrs. It was found that untreated panels showed a much higher contact angle of 106°, whereas the contact angle of panels treated with UV radiation was reduced to 47°. The cross-cut tests showed considerable flaking of the coating along the edges and squares of panels that were not treated, and very small flakes along the edges and parts of the grid square on panels that were UV treated, thus confirming the enhancement of coating adhesion between composite and coating surfaces by UV treatments.

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