We here in the automotive finishing industry like to take our time in surface prep, it is extremely important to put a great deal of care into prepping and it is something that does not want to be rushed. Peeling or cracking can be associated with sun damage (that's why all those poor aircrafts sitting out at the EverGreen Facility have there paint peeling), improper gun use can also contribute, improper material application, improper surface prep and using the wrong reducer or thinner for the present air temp. There are a million ways for a paint job to have problems and with that there are a million ways to fix it. Now I know for a fact that Boeing uses electo - magnetic spray guns that help the paint adhere better to the aluminum which this process can be compared to powder coating, yet in the process for powder coating you bake the material at 475 degrees Fahrenheit. The thing is nor Boeing or Airbus use spray booths AKA paint booths like OEM's do (Toyota, Honda, Chevy, Ford and so on). Body shops also use booths to produce that beautiful quality finish. Booths help ensure a proper temp for application because it has a built in climate control and they have a filtration system so it provides dust, dirt free clean air, if the air is not clean these impurities can lift the paint from the substrate as you were wondering. As for what AirframeAS, said about waxing to protect the finish. They do wax them for protection, but that's what clear coat is for protection and appearance. But of course just like automobiles, aircrafts finishes wear out, It's inevitable. I can imagine that Carriers are given a great deal of options as for materials, if it will be an Acrylic lacquer or Urethane Enamel Paint. I'm sure most carriers would go with the Urethane Enamel as that is what the our cars clearcoats are applied with because of its extremely strong durability. Now with the aircaft manufactures they prep everything, hand abrade everything and manually paint everything. Unlike the Worlds OEM's (Auto manufactures) they have their process all automatic, booth that may stretch as long as 5 to 6 football fields long and the new booths have a built in bake cycle for the clearcoats, automatic spray guns and automatic washing arms much like a car wash that would prep the body for the next coat or step. LOL, I could go all day long on this, so to just sum it up Boeing and Airbus could have paint jobs that could last a carrier 10 - 12 years if they only had spray booths. Most body and paint shops are equipped with the new booths that can be as high priced as $100,000 USD that's how much our booth at tech school is. So I can imagine for an aircraft spray booth it can reach in amounts of about $80,000,000 USD and that's why they may not want to build one. I can't believe AS
hand wax their a/c, thanks for that info AirframeAS. I bet most carriers wax their a/c with machine polishers AKA buffers.