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Sub Museum Gets New Exterior Coat

Monday, December 7, 2015

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Although officially retired from naval service since 1971, a Cold War-era submarine has remained on duty as an educational tourist attraction moored along the north shore of Pittsburgh.

With such a long history behind it, the USS Requin—the U.S. Navy's first Radar Picket submarine—was up for a little shore leave, so to speak.

Over the past two months, the sub was treated to some restoration and upkeep to keep it ship-shape and in continued service.

Doug DeHaven, Carnegie Science Center
Doug DeHaven, Carnegie Science Center

Built at the end of World War II,  the USS Requin (shown here before the new paint job), was closed to visitors while peeling paint was removed and the surface was prepared for a fresh coat of paint.

The Requin was closed to visitors during that time while peeling paint was removed, the surface was prepared for a fresh coat and a new protective coating was applied above the water line.

A Fresh Coat

More than 240 gallons of high-performance coatings were donated to the exterior refresh job by PPG PAINTS and PPG Protective and Marine Coatings (PMC). PPG’s headquarters are located in Pittsburgh.

“PPG is thrilled to partner with Carnegie Science Center to help preserve the Requin for future generations of visitors,” said Diane Kappas, vice president, PPG PMC, Americas.

“For many years, the submarine has served as a significant place of learning and exploration in our hometown, and now its history can continue to live on,” she added.

Doug DeHaven, Carnegie Science Center
Doug DeHaven, Carnegie Science Center

Priming and painting the vessel with fresh protective coatings, shown here after work completed, improves the exterior appearance of the submarine while protecting it from corrosion in the years ahead.

The project included clearing away the previous paint, preparing the surface, priming and painting the vessel with a fresh coat.

This restoration was meant to help improve the exterior appearance of the submarine, as well as protect it from corrosion in the years ahead.

The paint products used during the two-month project included a rust-inhibitive primer and silicone alkyd enamel. PPG said the three colors used on the vessel are standard for submarine museums like this: black on the hull, gray on the superstructure and the hull number in white.

PPG Industries

The job was completed over a two-month period, September through November, requiring more than 900 man-hours devoted for labor and about 240 gallons of paint.

The painting began in September and was completed through more than 900 man-hours of labor at the end of November. According to PPG, 280 hours alone were devoted to construction of the scaffolding on site.

Additional Details

According to the Carnegie Science Center, home of the Requin since September 1990, the sub sees about 155,000 visitors a year. The submarine reopened for tours on Nov. 20.

Funding for the restoration came from a grant from the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and the Commonwealth Financing Authority, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, as well as through a donation from Al Neupaver of Wabtec Corp.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Coating Materials; Donations; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Historic Preservation; Latin America; Marine Coatings; Museums; North America; Preservation; Primers; Protective Coatings; Renovation; Restoration

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