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Importance of Protective Coatings in Preventing Corrosion


By Terry Gabbert, Corrosion Prevention and Control Office

Presented at SSPC 2017; Session: Defending Against Corrosion in the Military, Part II; Session chair: Mark Schultz

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In December 2002, Congress, concerned with the high cost of corrosion, enacted legislation 10. U.S.C. 2228 which placed added emphasis on the Department of Defense management and technical focus in corrosion prevention and control measures. In response to a GAO recommendation, a standardized methodology for collecting and analyzing corrosion cost, readiness, and safety data was developed. This analysis included measures for both the cost of corrosion and availability related effects of corrosion on the DoD’s military equipment and infrastructure. In Logistics Management Institute’s FY 2015 study, sponsored by the Corrosion Policy Office from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the cited cost of corrosion was over $23.5 billion. The Air Force alone spends approximately $5.5 billion annually on corrosion maintenance which is 23.9% of the total maintenance budget. Protective coatings are an important aspect for procuring agencies and program management’s consideration for corrosion prevention and control. Knowledge and understanding of material selection, location and environment, both internally and externally, along with coating selections, cannot be overemphasized. Consistent and accurate data is essential for managing corrosion in the Department of Defense, along with the aging aircraft and equipment fleet. This presentation covers considerations that should be taken into account when selecting a coating stack-up, both in initial acquisition and sustainment planning. Additionally, it provides current references, guidance, processes and efforts that the Air Force will utilize to help emphasize corrosion and reduce the total cost throughout the system life cycle.

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