TAMPA, FL—The Department of Defense corrosion office unveiled a new video Tuesday (Jan. 31) that aims to give contracting officers and the public an up-close-and-personal look at the challenges of maintaining material integrity in a corrosive environment.
Part of that message is that every environment is, more or less, a corrosive environment.
Corrosion Comprehension: Operating in a Corrosive Environment, which premiered at SSPC 2012, lays out the case for fighting corrosion with a 25-minute video tour of the damage wrought by corrosive environments on military bases from Hawaii to Florida.
Narrated by actor LeVar Burton, the presentation features academic and military experts and operations professionals showing and discussing the uphill battle of corrosion prevention and control.
“Our nation’s infrastructure is under constant and unrelenting attack” from corrosion, says Burton.
DOD Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight
|LeVar Burton narrates “Corrosion Comprehension: Operating in a Corrosive Environment,” a video tour of the ravages of corrosive environments on U.S. military bases. |
Noting that corrosion has been implicated in major airplane, pipeline and bridge accidents, Burton adds: “The Department of Defense knows that if corrosion is ignored, many other tragedies may occur.”
Corrosive Environment is the fourth in the five-part Corrosion Comprehension video series, produced by DOD’s Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight. The previous videos were subtitled Combatting the Pervasive Menace, Portraying Polymers and Specifically Ceramics. The fifth video—Policies, Processes and Projects—is now being written.
With stops at bases in Hawaii, Texas, Florida and California, Corrosive Environment tours “some of the most corrosive places in the world” and spells out the damage that that environment inflicts on military vehicles, ships and aircraft. Inspections alone can take days, officials note.
For example, Vandenberg Air Force Base, in San Luis Obispo, CA, has the most corrosive environment of any land-based launch facility in the world, exacerbated by chemicals in the sand, officials there say.
At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, one launch can unleash 70 tons of corrosive hydrochloric acid, exacerbating the area’s already-aggressive marine environment.
And ships at sea face four to six times the corrosive damage of any material on land, experts say.
The video notes some mitigation measures being used to slow corrosion’s march: for example, rinsing down military aircraft after each flight and moving facilities inland one-quarter mile. But the video is less about solutions than about simply bringing the problem home.
The message, says executive producer Dan Dunmire, who heads DOD’s corrosion office, is this: “You live in a corrosion environment, whether you think so or not. It’s an awareness thing.”
The primary audience is DOD’s acquisition workforce, which includes contracting officers and their representatives, procurement specialists, program managers, industrial specialists and financial administrators.
Though not the primary goal, greater public awareness would help, too, Dunmire says. To that end, he hopes to shop the video to cable TV channels for broadcast.
For now, viewers can tune in to www.corrdefense.org to watch it. (Look under “Corrosion Videos and Podcasts” under the Director’s Corner on the home page.)
Investing in Solutions
The video also subtly bolsters DOD’s case for spending tens of millions of dollars to fight corrosion.
“We’ll never be able to stop corrosion, but we can find ways to slow it down,” Burton says. “In this case, you have to spend money to save money.”
“Remember,” he says, stealing a line from Neil Young (who stole it from Rust-Oleum), “rust never sleeps.”
Watch the video.