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Coatings Company Provides Coating System for Flying Saucer

PPG, a coatings company headquartered in Pittsburgh, donated coatings to revitalize the landmark flying saucer in Mars, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of PPG.

PPG (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) recently donated PPG Coraflon ADS (air-dry system) coatings to restore the iconic flying saucer located in downtown Mars, a borough in Butler County, Pennsylvania, USA. The PPG field-applied fluoropolymer resin coating system, which included a primer, metallic topcoat, and clearcoat, is designed to provide approximately 15 to 20 years’ worth of corrosion protection and chalk- and fade-free color.

In March 2019, the flying saucer, which measures 9 ft (2.7 m) in diameter and weighs nearly 2,000 lbs (907 kg), was removed from its spot in the Mars town square via crane. Once removed, the saucer was sandblasted and recoated by Oesterling’s Sandblasting & Painting (Butler, Pennsylvania, USA), while the craft’s silver-metallic color was chosen by the local Mars Historical Society.

On May 23, the refurbished flying saucer was reinstalled in time for the Mars Exploration Celebration held from May 31 to June 2. The Mars Exploration Celebration is a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) event that includes such attractions as a flight simulator, robots, rockets, and a show featuring 100 drones flying over Mars. For the first time in its four-year history, the event was sponsored by the PPG Science Education Council.

The Mars flying saucer has been a town fixture and tourist attraction since the early 1980s. According to Mars mayor Gregg Hartung, the saucer was built by welding together the ends of two fuel tankers and adding a top. Although Hartung claims the building of the saucer started out as a gag, it has since attracted considerable interest over the years from visitors around the world.

“Greater Pittsburgh is our headquarters community, and we remain committed to increasing the educational, cultural and recreational opportunities for our employees, customers and neighbors,” says Sharon Bird, PPG TrueFinish marketing manager. “By investing in educational activities like the Mars Exploration Celebration, we help grow today’s skilled workforce and develop tomorrow’s innovators in fields related to coatings and manufacturing.”

Source: PPG, www.news.ppg.com.