|NEW TILE WILL IMPROVE SAILORS' LIVES
Not expensive hardwood, but wear resistant Stratica
covers the deck on the USS HARPERS FERRY in a test installation.
10, 2001; Louisville, Kentucky:
Each year sailors spend thousands of hours buffing and waxing tiled decks on U.S. Navy
ships. In addition to being high maintenance, standard deck tile is "soft" and
must be replaced after heavy use or impact from various materials. Traditionally, this
type of work is a quality of life issue for sailors, and the Navy wants to
eliminate this problem.
Towards that end, the Navy requested that the McConnell Technology and
Training Center (MTTC) coordinate efforts to find durable, cost effective commercial
alternatives to the tile currently used on Navy ships. MTTC arranged to have a commercial
decking material called Stratica tile installed on USS JOHN YOUNG (DD-973) and USS HARPERS
FERRY (LSD-49) for test and evaluation. Stratica's top layer is Surlyn, the same
resilient material used for golf ball covering, mounted on a thin backing. To ensure
proper performance, Navy personnel applied the Stratica tile according to manufacturer
specifications. Test areas were selected for extreme foot traffic, abrasive and chemical
contaminates. The tile was left uncleaned and unprotected to evaluate the worst case
scenario for durability.
The results were very positive. After months of abuse, the tile was
cleaned with mild soap to reveal a newly installed, undamaged appearance. Stratica tile
performed so well in these tests, that the Navy has approved Stratica for use on all Navy
ships and submarines. The Navy estimates that this tile could save the Navy an estimated
$1.6 million per year in maintenance costs alone. According to the Bits-n-Pieces article
in the Fall 2000 issue of Corrosion Chronicle Magazine, "NAVSEA estimates that
Stratica tile offers a potential eight-fold life cycle cost savings over epoxy color
flake, and a fourteen-fold cost savings over the polyurethane color flake decking."
The value to the sailors who no longer must buff and wax the tile is immeasurable.
The durability and low maintenance features of
Stratica Tile caught the interest of the U.S. Navy. The look of marble and inlaid wood
adds to the eye appeal of this tough deck covering.
Information about other
MTTC / Navy projects