PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


DoD Raps Corrosion Training, Technology

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Comment | More

The U.S. military could fight corrosion damage far more effectively with better cooperation, training and communication among the various service branches, the Department of Defense has concluded after a year-long study of its infrastructure.

The 182-page Facilities and Infrastructure Corrosion Evaluation Study, released July 15, presents the results of an in-depth evaluation of corrosion control challenges and findings from a sample size of DoD installations.

Overall, the study pointed to several areas of immediate concern for addressing corrosion prevention and control, including training, communication, data collection and management, contracting issues and new technology implementation.

Corrosion Prevention Opportunities

The study was implemented after the House Committee on Armed Services' report (H. Rept. 112-78) requested an evaluation of corrosion at DoD facilities and infrastructure within 300 days of enacting H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

DoD corrosion study
Photos: Department of Defense

The DoD spends an estimated $22.5 billion each year to combat and prevent the effects of corrosion.

"[T]he committee believes that there may be more cost-efficient opportunities for developing strategies for enhancing the sustainability of existing facilities, as well as for ensuring the integration of corrosion prevention and mitigation technologies into the buildup of future facilities," the House report said.

The DoD spends an estimated $22.5 billion each year to combat and prevent the effects of corrosion; $1.904 billion of that amount is spent on facilities and infrastructure.

The Director of the Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight was directed to conduct the study, which was to:

  • Identify key drivers of costs and recommend strategies for reducing their impact;
  • Review a sampling of facilities that are representative of facility type, military department and facility age;
  • Assess at least one planned facility construction program; and
  • Include information obtained from site visits and the examination of program documentation including maintenance and facility engineering processes.

Gathering Data

A 15-person study team that included subject matter experts from all branches of the military, industry and academia was assembled to review program documents and develop questionnaires to send to facility managers.

After sending the questionnaires, the team visited 15 locations and interviewed representatives from an additional 15 places by teleconference. Two laboratory-level commands and the Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) Criteria Office were also sent questionnaires and interviewed.

The 30 locations were selected from a list of 5,211 DoD sites; selected locations are all considered "major installations" that host numerous tenants. According to the report, no location surveyed in the study was less than 50 years old, and half of the sample installations were established in preparation for or response to World War II.

The study team used steel coupons that had been left exposed to elements for 10 years at 130 military installations around the world as part of the DoD's Environmental Severity Index. For locations without ESI coupons, the team used time of wetness and salinity as predictors for corrosion.

'Doing What They Can'

The team found that military services are "doing what they can in the areas of corrosion prevention and control (CPC); however, opportunities for improvement exist throughout DoD."

Facilities and Infrastructure Corrosion Evaluation Study

The study team noted a lack of communication and training, reluctance to use new corrosion technologies, and contracting issues as areas where DoD could improve.

DoD facilities and infrastructure management varied by respective military service and installation mission, specific environments and available personnel, but the underlying challenges that each military service faces in sustaining its infrastructure are fairly similar, the evaluation said.

Among facilities, corrosion is often perceived as rust and oxidation of metals, rather than the more comprehensive definition in congressional language, the study noted.

"They may accept corrosion as normal wear, not knowing that corrosion prevention criteria or mitigation technologies are available," the study team reported. This view of corrosion correlates to a lack of focus on corrosion issues, it added.

Guidance and Training Issues

After compiling a list of guidance documents that specifically address CPC in the acquisition, development and long-term management of DoD infrastructure, the team found that the awareness and implementation of these policies and guidance varied considerably. It also noted that field-level implementation was not always well executed.

Most sites included in the study had similar CPC engineering processes and practices, despite differences in mission and facility objectives.

All of the sites included in the study cited resource constraints as a constant concern. The study team found that compliance with required programs (e.g., Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED], Anti-Terrorism Force Protection, and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966) reduced funding available to eliminate or control corrosion's effects.

On-the-job and formal CPC training could be improved and would result in better corrosion-related decision making and more balanced investments in preventive and corrective maintenance, the team found.

CPC training was reported as minimal because of funding constraints and a lack of available coursework. Another training concern is that high personnel turnover from an aging workforce is contributing to a loss in corrosion expertise.

Shying Away from New Technologies

The report also found that newer corrosion mitigation technologies are used only reluctantly"because of the inherent risk of failure and fear of losing scarce resources."

Because only proven and mature corrosion mitigating technologies are being used in design and construction criteria, transitioning new technology into criteria was found to be a "cumbersome and time consuming" process, resulting in large time lags before new technology is included in contracts.

To accelerate the use of new technologies, the study team found that better cross-installation of communication would improve the sharing of CPC best practices. Participating personnel suggested that a centralized forum for discussing challenges, best practices, lessons learned and policies would be beneficial for fostering collaboration.

corrosion control training

A lack of corrosion-centric maintenance actions "creates a scenario in which maintenance requirements quickly outgrow available funding, and it feeds a continuous cycle of increasing deferred maintenance levels," the team found.

Many of the personnel interviewed also said they were more comfortable with a headquarters requiring and directing the implementation of new technologies, instead of having a choice.

Contracting and Maintenance Concerns

Contracting personnel also weighed greatly on CPC outcomes, improving when personnel were familiar with facilities and infrastructure requirements. Some respondents said that mandatory contracting targets, such as contract laws and mandated small business set-aside programs, hinder the ability to obtain the best-qualified CPC contractor.

In many instances, contractors avoid offering CPC technologies that would exceed minimum performance requirements because they cost more up front, putting the contractor at a competitive disadvantage.

The study included an assessment of a planned facility construction program. The selected project was the Hospital Replacement, Naval Hospital Guam, as Guam is one of the most severe corrosion environments. The assessment results showed that "appropriate CPC planning and decisions made in the development of this project will directly enhance the facilities' lifecycle and is a good model of a military construction project from a CPC perspective."

By improving CPC requirements at the design stage, corrosion-related decision making will be improved, the study found

When it comes to maintaining existing facilities, the team found that most maintenance actions and requirements are not corrosion-centric, although corrosion could be a root cause or a contributing factor. Another challenge is a backlog of deferred maintenance when funding is not available, which increases degradation and results in greater costs from additional damage.

"This creates a scenario in which maintenance requirements quickly outgrow available funding, and it feeds a continuous cycle of increasing deferred maintenance levels," the team said.

The Comptroller General of the United States has 60 days from the delivery of the report to provide an assessment of the evaluation to the congressional defense committees.

   

Tagged categories: Contractors; Corrosion; Corrosion protection; Department of Defense (DOD); Facility Managers; Government; Infrastructure; Maintenance programs; Worker training

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
International Bridge Conference
 
2017 International Bridge Conference
 
June 4-8, 2017, National Harbor, Maryland
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Safety
 
Removing blasting operators from harmful environments is our key objective.
 

 
Clemco Industries Corp.
 
Maximum Dust Suppression Systems Start at $14,950
 
The system comprises proven technology and equipment with user-friendly flexibility in mind. See it in action.
 

 
Tnemec Company, Inc.
 
Online Coating Courses from Tnemec
 
For decades, Tnemec has offered its expertise to clients presenting face-to-face coatings courses. Now, these presentations are available to anyone for CEUs at Tnemec University.
 

 
Termarust Technologies
 
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion
 
Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.
 

 
Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
 
TIER 4 EQUIPMENT
 
We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. www.absoluteequip.com or Call 412-931-6655.
 

 
SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
 
http://www.sspc.org/
 
Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !
 

 
US Minerals
 
Hit Harder. Clean Faster.
 
Black Diamond abrasive products are the toughest, most effective blasting media and supply the superior power you need to get any job done.
 

 
Axxiom Manufacturing
 
Schmidt Improves Conversion Kits
 
Schmidt's conversion kits turn out-of-date blast pots into high quality, efficient blasters. Quick, easy to install with step by step instructions.
Call 1-800-231-2085
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us