Oceanit’s AeroPel Triumphs in AFWERX Challenge

Aviation, Defense, Technology

Oceanit kicked off 2024 with exciting news! Working together with a major defense contractor, we emerged as a finalist in two AFWERX Expedient Basing Challenges hosted by the United States Air Force (USAF). Oceanit proposed AeroPel as a practical solution for protecting equipment and infrastructure from corrosion damage to improve military readiness to execute warfighting capabilities. Selected among 800 solutions submitted, Oceanit joined 140 other finalists at the showcase in Las Vegas in January to network with the USAF and other DoD/government entities.

Within the Expedient Basing Challenges – we proposed AeroPel for corrosion protection for both the Force Sustainment and Base Infrastructure categories. The AFWERX challenge seeks new technologies like AeroPel to support Agile Combat Employment (ACE) introduced by the USAF. ACE is an operational concept that promotes proactive/reactive maneuvering in future conflicts, emphasizing flexibility and adaptability to enhance survivability and generate combat power.

Recognized as a finalist, Oceanit firmly positions AeroPel as the sustainable corrosion protection solution for various applications supporting ACE. AeroPel is a ‘Nanocomposite Protective Layer’ (NPL), offering superior protection against corrosion using water-based and chrome-free technology. The NPL safeguards metallic substrates from corrosion by repelling fluid to prevent penetration that could initiate corrosion.

Moreover, interest in AeroPel at the event in Las Vegas extended beyond military hardware. Other participants at the showcase, including autonomous drones and robot manufacturers, showed interest in AeroPel to help protect their technologies from the environment. They recognized the benefits of preventing moisture intrusion, particularly to protect electrical components. With new connections and strengthened networks, Oceanit aims to expand and diversify AeroPel across other fields.

AFWERX, powered by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the center of innovation for the Department of the Air Force. They accelerate technology development and fosters an agile innovation ecosystem through collaboration with diverse partners from small businesses and start-ups. The AFWERX Challenge employs design thinking workshops, crowdsourcing, and collaboration events to engage industry and academic innovators to a dynamic market research initiative. It aims to apply cutting-edge technologies to government challenges, expediting the journey from concept to implementation.