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      May 16-17, 2001

       

       We'll be there

 

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FLEET MAINTENANCE
"SUCCESS STORIES"



 

TOPSIDE CONNECTOR COVER

The fleet has used a variety of solutions to minimize corrosion to topside connectors. The most common solution is to wrap the connector with tape and coat with polysulfide or to employ cold shrink tubing. These solutions are permanent and they must be replaced if it is necessary to access the connector. For items that must be repeatedly disconnected and reconnected for maintenance, there was no solution. RayChem, Inc. has developed a roll-on, roll-off connector cover that permits easy connect and disconnect. The new technology uses a toroid filled with gel. The gel permits the cover to easily slide over and completely seal the connector from the environment. This cover can be slid back from the connector for inspection and then restored by sliding it back. MTTC resources were used to conduct a series of environmental and military suitability tests. These tests concluded that the connector cover met military standards. The cover, called RayOLON, has been given limited approval for fleet use and a large number have been procured for extensive at-sea testing. The Navy estimates an annual cost avoidance of $250,000/year when fully implemented.

 

PORTABLE CHLORINATOR/SEA WATER FOULING PREVENTION

Marine fouling causes fouling of the fleet's sea water systems (firemain, cooling, flushing, etc.). The use of chlorination to prevent this fouling is a proven concept in both military and commercial applications. This project was conducted to develop a portable chlorinator unit, to determine the optimal location of the injector port, to test the unit on a fleet unit and to evaluate the chlorinator's ability to prevent fouling. MTTC resources were used to build and install a suitcase-sized device on a U.S. Navy ship -- USS CARR (DDG-52). The prototype was initially installed in October 1999. It has been run on the discharge of the #2 firepump since that time. Several engineering changes were instituted as a result of these tests (corrosion prevention, etc.). The Navy has been satisfied with the results of the tests to date. As a result, in FY-01, the Navy intends to build and install two or three more chlorinators on USS CARR to increase the operational flexibility and the biofouling coverage. MTTC has transferred custody of the test unit to the Navy for the additional testing. The Navy has estimated that this technology will result in savings of $500K/year when fully implemented.

 

K-FLEX ECO INSULATION

The current Calcium Silicate insulation used onboard ship is heavy and very difficult to install. Fleet maintenance personnel and shipbuilders are looking for new materials that will meet the requirements and yet be less costly to install. K-Flex ECO insulation was installed on USS RUSHMORE for at-sea tests. This insulation is targeted at temperature ranges up to 250 degrees F. After almost a year of testing, the Navy has determined the K-Flex ECO meets all shipboard requirements and achieves a 40% labor reduction over Calcium Silicate and a 25% reduction over fiberglass. The Naval Sea Systems Command will be issuing a change to the Navy specification, in the near future, to permit the fleetwide use of this new material. The Navy has estimated that the use of K-Flex ECO in the fleet will result in a maintenance cost avoidance of not less than $1.25M/year, fleetwide. This number does not include obvious savings in ship construction.

 

STRATICA DECK COVERING

For generations, painting and deck tile maintenance have been a (negative) mainstay of a sailor's workday. The Navy is making a concerted effort to eliminate or significantly reduce this type of work. Hundreds of hours a year are spent on each ship waxing and buffing tile. The current tile is "soft" and usually has to be replaced after heavy use or impact. A commercially available decking material called "Stratica" has been installed on several ships on a test basis. This project supported the proofing of installation procedures. To ensure proper performance, the decking must be applied using proper equipment, procedures and adhesives. In this project, decks were installed on USS JOHN YOUNG (DD-973) and USS HARPERS FERRY (LSD-49). It demonstrated that the established procedures produced a quality installation that performed admirable at sea. As a result, the Navy has approved Stratica for use on all Navy ships and submarines. The Navy has estimated that this project will save at least $1.6 M/year in maintenance costs.

 

SUPERBOLT QUALIFICATION FOR NAVY USE

As part of the Fleet Maintenance Technology Transfer Program, MTTC was asked by the U.S. Navy to find a solution to a fastener problem. The Navy needed a nut/bolt that would not corrode, would be easy to install and remove in tight spaces and would pass the stringent shock requirement. Superbolt™ is a commercially available product that meets most of the requirements, but had not been shock tested. In June 1998, MTTC received approval to perform the shock test on Superbolt. It was violently and successfully tested in November and, as a result, received Navy approval for fleet use in April 1999. It is estimated that the use of Superbolt in a variety of applications will save the Navy over $1 million per year. The project was completed in less than five months and started fleet use in less than 10 months.

 

DDG-51 CLASS INTAKE LOUVERS

Since the Arleigh Burke Class (DDG-51) Destroyers started going to sea in the early 1990's, the ships have experienced severe corrosion on the 47 louvers that filter the air going to the main propulsion and auxiliary gas turbine (jet) engines. A variety of coating products and techniques had been tried without success. MTTC was asked by the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, to assist in finding a solution. A process called "fluidized bed powder coating" was revealed and a company was located in Toronto Canada that had dip-tanks that could accommodate the largest of the louvers. The Navy provided process sheets and test louvers. These louvers were coated and shipped to Bath Iron Works where they were installed on a destroyer, USS COOK, for at-sea testing. After four months, when most of new louvers were already exhibiting corrosion, the test items were as pristine as the day they were coated. As a result of this trial, the Navy has ordered all new destroyers louvers to be treated using this process and the fleet is sending entire ship-sets of louvers from units already in the active fleet out for this powder coating. The Navy estimates that almost a million dollars per year will be saved by this project.

 

WATERTIGHT DOOR HINGES

For years, the Navy has been plagued with maintenance problems with their watertight doors. These heavy metal doors are designed to limit the spread of fire and flooding in a ship. There are 52,000 doors (and 104,000 hinges) throughout the fleet. The hinges and hinge pins on these doors have been failing at an alarming rate. The Navy estimates that it expends $10 million per year on time and materials to fix the doors. MTTC was asked to help find a solution to this problem. In conjunction with the Navy, six potential replacement kits were identified. A multi-door test fixture was built and all six kits were tested alongside the current hinge model. The latter failed after only 110,000 cycles. Three of the six replacements easily withstood 1.25 million door open/close cycles. The Navy intends to compete these three "winners" to obtain the most cost effective replacement. The fleet is clamoring to expedite delivery of the kits. The major shipbuilding programs are also gearing up to utilize the replacement in all new construction ships.

 

HEAT EXCHANGER ONBOARD DESCALING

Navy ships use heat exchangers in numerous applications to provide cooling water to electronics and equipment. Often, the primary sides of these exchangers are cooled by sea water, via the ship's firemain system. Over time, the primary sides of the tubes become fouled by inorganic scale (like household irons and coffee makers) and organic biogrowth (mussels, barnacles and sea-grass). When this happens, heat transfer is severely degraded and damage can occur to the cooled equipment. In the past, when heat exchanger needed to be cleaned, they had to be physically removed from the ship, taken to a shore-based facility and acid cleaned. The removal/installation time took 10-100 times the actual cleaning interval. During this downtime, the serviced electronics could not be operated or maintained. MTTC, in conjunction with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, SSES/Philadelphia, obtained the necessary environmental clearances and conducted shipboard tests that would permit heat exchangers to be cleaned without removal from their foundations. A small maintenance module, including a pump, filter and necessary flange joints was developed. Qualified technicians could bring the descaler equipment to the ship, hook it up, circulate the commercial cleaner and depart the ship in less than a day. In May 2000, after rigorous shipboard testing and evaluation, the Navy authorized qualified Navy activities and vendors to conduct onboard cleaning of heat exchangers. The Navy estimates that $4 million will be saved a year in maintenance costs.

 

EPOXY BILGE PAINTS

Bilges are the lowest areas on the interior of a ship. As such, all forms of liquid wastes tend to accumulate in these bilges - including salt water, fuel, oil and hydraulic fluids. Many of these are extremely corrosive and can cause significant damage to the ship's structure and hull. In order to protect the metal, sailors, for decades, have been forced to continually clean, strip and paint the bilges. It is confining and dirty work that is a true demotivator. During the past five years, new, environmentally friendly plural epoxy paints have been developed to coat bilges. Some have already been successfully used on commercial ships in Europe and the U.S. However, substrate preparation has been found to be critical to a successful epoxy application. The Navy has developed a set of formalized processes for the surface preparation and application of epoxy bilge paint. They asked MTTC to support the installation of test areas of two brands of bilge paint in accordance with the approved procedures. USS DETROIT was prepared and painted in January-April 2000 and sent to sea to evaluate the effectiveness of the paint and procedures. After a suitable period, the Navy will audit the condition of the test areas and make a decision on service-wide use. If the paints live up to their promise, bilge painting intervals will be extended from months to years. The Navy estimates that over $10 million per year in maintenance costs will be avoided.


Call for More Information...

For additional information about opportunities involving technology transfer for the Navy, contact Dick Gilbert [email protected]

Phone: (502) 367-2186.   Fax: (502) 367-4261

 

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