After 16 years, the Navy has re-opened the Norfolk Ship Support Activity’s powder coating facility, reviving its ability to provide corrosion-resistant applications to equipment on Norfolk-based ships.
Closed in the mid-’90s when the Norfolk Regional Repair Center was moved to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) re-established the facility at Norfolk Naval Station to make this corrosion-control capability more accessible to surface ships.
|The new facility, closed since 1995, will help the Navy step up maintenance coating to fight corrosion.|
The shop is one of a number of maintenance facilities the Navy is re-establishing and re-staffing, in an effort to improve intermediate-level surface ship maintenance support.
‘A Relentless Adversary’
The new facility will use a variety of powder coatings for various parts and equipment. The coatings are comprised of plastic powders and other durable materials that bond immediately upon application to the surface.
“With corrosion a relentless adversary, this new powder coating shop will help reduce maintenance costs and provide a much-needed asset for our surface ships,” said Rear Adm. Dave Thomas, Commander, U.S. Navy Surface Forces, Atlantic, who participated in the re-establishment ceremony.
“We’ve waited 16 years to get our intermediate maintenance facilities back on line, and I’m delighted we’re growing these capabilities, one step at a time.”
Maximum Protection, Eco-Friendly
NAVSEA says powder coatings provide maximum protection to ship components, because application can be very controlled, optimizing layers of thickness where needed. Powder coating is harder and more durable than a standard painted surface and resists corrosion longer, the Navy says.
The facility includes a blast-off booth where parts and equipment are abrasive-blast cleaned before being given a fresh coating in the spray booth. Afterward, they are placed in bake-on ovens to seal the coatings.
“By using powder coating, sailors are able to reduce surface ship corrosion on a great variety of parts throughout an entire ship,” said Norfolk Ship Support Activity Production Manager Ronnie Saunders.
“Powder coating works especially well for the environments our ships face at sea. The coatings are weather-resistant, making parts more anti-corrosive than other coverings, and they are environmentally friendly.”