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Materials & Assembly
Naval Researchers Fight Metal Corrosion
7/12/2012

National Research Lab Commanding Officer Capt. Paul Stewart, right, presents the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award to Keith Lucas. He was honored for his team's 20 years of work to create ship models to advance anti-corrosion research. (Source: NRL)
National Research Lab Commanding Officer Capt. Paul Stewart, right, presents the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award to Keith Lucas. He was honored for his team's 20 years of work
to create ship models to advance anti-corrosion research.
(Source: NRL)

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notarboca
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Gold
Re: Metal Corrosion
notarboca   7/14/2012 12:12:41 AM
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Corrosion, and with it, chipping and painting, is a huge problem (as every bluejacket knows)  If this is anywhere close to the solution to an age-old naval problem the Navy has advanced a great deal towards cost savings.

tnguyengp
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Iron
Re: Metal Corrosion
tnguyengp   7/13/2012 2:54:01 PM
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Corrosion is expensive. The cost of corrosion to industrialized nations is about 3 percent of GDP. In the United   States that adds up to $2-4 trillion per decade, which equates to rebuilding Hurricane Katrina-scale infrastructure three or four times.

Yes, corrosion is expensive, especially when you're dealing with big things like ships, planes and vehicles for the military, manufacturing equipment, and industrial pipelines. It's important to be pre-emptive when it comes to corrosion prevention or else you could wind up spending a lot more than you'd like. You can see how products like moisture barrier bags and vapor corrosion inhibitors protects airplanes and equipment:

http://www.protectivepackaging.net/military-packaging  

johnwiley
User Rank
Iron
Re: Metal Corrosion
johnwiley   7/13/2012 12:49:07 PM
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Mydesign:  I'm not aware of any production military submarine hull that is made of anything other than high strength steel... The Russians used titanium alloy hulls, but no one uses "sheet metal" or "fiber plates"... These materials would not be useful in this application... Do you have a specific example of a submarine that uses the materials you mentioned?

 

 

johnwiley
User Rank
Iron
Re: Naval Researchers Fight Metal Corrosion
johnwiley   7/13/2012 12:43:09 PM
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Not sure I see how your comment is anywhere close to relevant... I didn't see any mention of how much the team spent on the project...  My (real life) experience with NRL is that most of the projects there are run on a shoestring, and many of them yield useful results that transition very quickly into the commercial world (just like all of the other national labs)...  This project translates into commercial application as well, potentially saving commercial shipping companies billions over the lifetime of their fleets...  This translates into economic benefit for a VERY large group of people...

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Metal Corrosion
Dave Palmer   7/13/2012 12:39:46 PM
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@KennJ: $3 billion is the total annual cost of corrosion for Navy ships.  It includes the costs of corrosion prevention, R&D, maintenance, and losses due to corrosion.  For the entire Department of Defense, the cost of corrosion is about $22.5 billion.

@Mydesign: There is no such thing as a corrosion-free metal. (You might say that polymers and ceramics are "corrosion-free," but that doesn't mean they are immune to environmental degradation).  I strongly doubt that anyone in any country is building a submarine or any other marine structure without some kind of cathodic protection system.

KennJ
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Iron
Naval Researchers Fight Metal Corrosion
KennJ   7/13/2012 9:37:13 AM
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When you have access to essentially a limitless supply of $$$, you too could spend huge sums of $$$ to fight corrosion on your automobile. 

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Metal Corrosion
Mydesign   7/13/2012 12:40:41 AM
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1 saves
"The Navy spends nearly $3 billion annually to fix corrosion damage of ships."

Elizabeth, that's a huge amount and comes approximately equivalent to the cost of a submarine. But many of the submarines of other countries are made of corrosion free substances like sheet metal with ionized coating, fiber plates etc. Why still US navy didn't use such corrosion free metals.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Billions on corrosion
Rob Spiegel   7/12/2012 1:51:12 PM
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Nice story, Elizabeth. It's quite surprising that the military spends $3 billion each year to fight corrosion. Good to see there is clever new technology to help fight the problem.

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