1995

NASA has had requirements for anti-corrosion coating for use in many space-related applications. For example, one need was for a superior coating to protect gantries and other related launch structures at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. At coastal facilities where external structures are subject to the corrosive effects of ocean spray and fog, an effective anti-corrosion coating was important to protect the valuable hardware and substantially reduce maintenance costs. At KSC, an acceptable coating also had to be able to withstand the extremely hot exhaust and thermal shock created by rapid temperature changes occurring during space vehicle launching. Through a research program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in the 1970's, scientists discovered that inorganic coatings formulated with zinc dust and potassium silicate produced a coating with improved corrosion resistance that fulfilled NASA criteria and reduced associated labor costs by providing long-term protection with a single application. 

In 1981, NASA negotiated a license with Shane Associates for rights to the anti-corrosion material. Inorganic Coatings, Inc. signed an agreement with Shane to become the sole manufacturer and sales agent for the product. The commercial coating is a non-toxic water-based material that bonds well to steel and dries within 30 minutes to a ceramic-like, hard, durable finish. The product, IC 531 Zinc Silicate, has been utilized to coat bridge girders, pipelines, oil rigs, military tanks, dock equipment, buoys, municipal water facilities, power stations, antennas, tractor-trailer frames, and marine products to name a few. The most publicized application was the 225 gallons applied to the wrought iron interior of the Statue of Liberty during refurbishing. It has also been used to paint the interior structure of the huge statue of Buddha.
Parawings or hang gliders were developed in 1948 for use as a wing on inexpensive aircraft. In 1958, NASA considered the parawing as a means of returning space payloads to Earth. While NASA did not select the parawing, the military became interested in it for parachuting. In the mid-1960s Pioneer Aerospace and Irvin Industries, parachute manufacturers, built parawings for the Army?s Golden Knights precision parachute team. NASA?s reentry parachute research was also the original source to inspire Francis and Gertrude Rogallo in their research into flexible controllable fabric airfoils with a delta, V-shaped configuration for use on inexpensive private aircraft. 

They were issued a flex-wing patent and refined their designs. Development of the Rogallo wings, used by U.S. Moyes, Inc., substantially broadened the flexible airfoil technology base. John Dickenson incorporated the Rogallo technology, particularly the airfoil frame, into the design of a kite which served as the prototype for the Australian Moyes line of hang gliders. These initial uses of the parawing gave birth to what is now multi-million dollar annual earnings for the hang gliding industry. Today, dozens of companies around the world produce parawings, hang gliders, and powered gliders for military, commercial, and recreational use.