Element119 Awarded Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Contract SBIR

Element 119 Awarded Air Force Contract to Develop Advanced Ceramic Topcoat for Water Storage Tanks

Element 119 partners with the 103rd Airlift Wing to create and test innovative nano-coating.

“We’re honored to be given this opportunity to protect military assets, and excited to show the Air Force what we can do”

(THOMASTON, CT)—Element 119 LLC has been selected by the U.S. Department of the Air Force (DAF)’s AFWERX program for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract for the development of an innovative ceramic coating to protect military water storage tanks and towers. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the SBIR process by accelerating the small business experience through faster proposal-to-award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small businesses, and eliminating bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution. The DAF began offering the Open Topic SBIR program in 2018, which expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded, and now on February 9, Element 119 started its journey to create and provide innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.

Element 119’s new solution will offer a cost- and time-saving alternative to today’s coatings for water tanks and towers. Durable, long-lasting, easy to clean, and easy to apply, this topcoat promises to offer outstanding protection against the elements and extend the life cycle of base assets. The next-generation coating will be developed in partnership with the 103rd Airlift Wing and tested on water storage tanks at the Bradley Air National Guard Base in East Granby, CT.

“We’re honored to be given this opportunity to protect military assets, and excited to show the Air Force what we can do,” says Andrew Zeppa, founder, CEO, and head formulator of Element 119.

About Element 119
Element 119 has been producing industry-leading ceramic composite nanocoatings for the automotive, aerospace, and marine industries since its founding in 2010. The company has a production facility and laboratory in Thomaston, CT, and a business office in Cheshire, CT. It specializes in developing custom coatings for a wide variety of customers, including Fortune 500 companies. For more information, visit: www.element119.com.

About 103rd Airlift Wings
The 103rd Airlift Wing of the Connecticut National Guard, known as the Flying Yankees, stands ready to provide tactical airpower and mission support for the state and the nation at a moment’s notice. The 103rd celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2023. For more information, visit www.103aw.ang.af.mil/

About Air Force Research Laboratory
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace forces. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit www.afresearchlab.com.

The innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within AFRL, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. It employs approximately 325 military, civilian, and contractor personnel at five hubs and sites, executing an annual $1.4B budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 4,671 contracts worth more than $2B to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit: www.afwerx.com.

(The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.)


Element 119 Press Contact:
Mark Sullivan
(860) 438-6992
[email protected]


Element 119’s origin began in Connecticut back in 2010 as a specialty coating R&D company specializing in the aerospace industry. Coatings were developed for the likes of Sikorsky, Bombardier, as well as predominant airlines internationally.

10+ years and billions of dollars in protected assets later Element 119 is now represented in over 50 countries and counting. We owe our success to our close relationships with System X distribution and installation partners. We remain true to our mission, focused on delivering the best, most efficient, longest lasting coating technology on the planet. All of our ceramic coatings are manufactured at our facility in Thomaston, CT USA to the absolute highest quality standards.

Get In Touch

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609 W Johnson Ave 5th Floor Cheshire, CT 06410
+1 (844) 353 6119 +1 (860) 358 0119
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