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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.

 

   January 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

 

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