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Development of Environmentally-Friendly Corrosion Cleaner for Navy Topside Coatings


By Colton Spicer, Vision Point Systems, Inc. (VPS)

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

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The presence of rust staining on surface ship topside and freeboard areas has been a continuing cosmetic problem for the U.S. Naval Fleet. In an effort to maintain the appearance of a well-maintained ship, the U.S. Navy is estimated to expend more than $1.0M annually on silicone alkyd topside coatings, governed by Navy specification MIL-PRF-24635, purely for cosmetic over-coating purposes. With the introduction of polysiloxane topside coatings, cleaning becomes a viable and more cost effective alternative to aesthetic re-coating due to polysiloxane’s superior color retention, gloss retention, and service life beyond the older silicone alkyd coatings. The focus of this paper is on the investigation, development, and implementation of an effective corrosion stain remover that NRL conducted to reduce maintenance costs in the Navy associated with cosmetic over-coating and increase environmental compliance by reducing shipboard coatings application. Novel evaluation techniques were developed to accurately detect and quantify the performance of stain removers on polysiloxane coatings in both laboratory and shipboard tests. Lessons learned during field demonstrations were used to create, develop, and implement polysiloxane cleaning kits for Ship’s Force with assistance from the U.S. Navy Corrosion Control Assistance Team. Recent shipboard demonstrations have proven that significant cost avoidance can be realized through a reduction in maintenance time, annual maintenance costs, topside weight, and hazardous waste. NRL intends to eliminate and overcome the cosmetic overcoat paradigm through these implementation efforts and allow the Navy to realize an extended service life from the polysiloxane topside coatings.

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