In 2017 we began an incredible project at NASA to restore their Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. The NBL is a large, 100’ x 200’ freshwater pool located at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. After many years of service, the pool was in need of general coating for both cosmetic and localized repairs. Our team collaborated with an underwater diving company to service the repairs!
The astronauts use this pool to train in a weightless environment, learning how to operate in what feels like outer space. Being underwater, the astronauts are able to practice simulating extravehicular activities and learn how to operate comfortably in their suit. With our underwater applied coating, BIO-DUR 560, and a great team of divers, we were able to work on recoating the pool without interrupting NASA’s training at the NTB. This allowed astronauts to continue on schedule as we rotated divers and worked in sections to apply a barrier coating over the existing concrete that was suffering from rust and corrosion.
Initially, we completed the North wall of the pool, doing observations, basic tests, and a later examination proving outstanding condition, we were set to complete the remaining walls! The fresh coating has dramatically improved both the appearance and illumination underwater. Going from stained and splotchy to snow white!
This project was both exciting and rewarding for Thin Film Technology and partners involved. We look forward to sharing more project spotlights with you!