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Microbial Degradation of Polymeric Coatings for Aircraft
Final rept. 15 Mar-14 Nov 1998
HARVARD UNIV CAMBRIDGE MA DIV OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED PHYSICS
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We studied the microbial degradation of polyurethane top-coatings in the absence of CrVI. We have shown, using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy ElS, that these polymers degrade in the presence of the ambient microflora. As a next step in our investigation, we initiated enrichment cultures in order to isolate and cultivate microorganisms capable of utilizing polyurethane as a sole source of carbon and energy. Degradation of polyurethane coating polymers was achieved after four months of incubation in one of our cultures incubated with microorganisms commonly found in the ambient environment. Two bacteria were isolated from one of our enrichment cultures. They were characterized both biochemically and genetically.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE