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Dec. 10, 2003
CONTACT: Kathleen Shields

EMU Receives $2.1 Million to Continue Research for Defense Department

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University’s Coatings Research Institute (CRI) will receive an additional $2.1 million from the U.S. Department of Defense for the second phase of a project to research and develop coatings that will protect military equipment and vehicles from corrosion, chemical and biological agents.

The CRI is a national center within EMU’s College of Technology that partners with government, industry and other universities to conduct basic and applied research on high tech coating materials. In 2003, the CRI received $2.1 million in federal funding to partner with the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Md., and the Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Mich.

“Corrosion is a major contributor to the operation, maintenance and support costs for Army vehicles, equipment and metallic structures that function outdoors,” said Theodore Provder, director of the CRI. “It leads to shorter equipment and vehicle service life and presents a readiness issue. Not only do troops need to be ready to go when called, so do vehicles and equipment."

Provder said the first year of funding is being spent on formulating new coatings and running feasibility studies on the material. In its second year, the project will move into a demonstration phase, where the coatings will be applied to panels or vehicles and subjected to laboratory tests that mimic hours of wind, water and temperature fluctuations.

“We will be looking to see how the coatings that we are developing will stand up in the field,” said Provder. “The success of this phase could lead to a commercial partnership with a manufacturer to produce coatings for the military.”“Research projects like this are positive from a number of viewpoints,” said Provder. “Not only will the CRI build a skill base and competency in the area of corrosion coatings, but by working side-by-side with army scientists on campus and in army labs, EMU students become the well-trained coatings professionals sought after by industry and government.”


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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