Support of Advanced Coatings

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Project Participants: General Dynamics Electric Boat

Project Start: June 2011

Preservation is a significant cost driver when considering total ownership costs of Navy Ships. There is great potential to reduce additional costs associated with fleet unit repairs. This General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) project will provide technical expertise to support an Institute for Manufacturing and Sustainment Technology (iMAST) led project, Improved Interior Finish Coatings.

This project aims to improve toughness, abrasion resistance, and cleanability of interior finish coatings to help reduce or eliminate over-coating, which will reduce both acquisition and total ownership cost (TOC). As the appearance of interior and exterior painted surfaces is important to the Navy, a substantial amount of money is spent on reapplying finish coatings solely for cosmetic reasons. This is true in both new construction and repair. The cost associated with routine application of finish coatings to repair cosmetic damage goes well beyond the material and labor cost associated with application of the paint. Surface preparation (hand sanding, brush blasting, power-tool cleaning, solvent wipe, etc.) is labor-intensive. Masking and cleanup of dust or paint also increases the cost associated with cosmetic over-coating.

Interior finish coatings currently in use have (predominantly) been developed to meet environmental regulations and cost constraints. Current trends in marine maintenance coating formulation are toward high-build rapid-cure coatings and extended corrosion protection. However, simply improving coating longevity will not necessarily reduce cost when repair coating operations are performed for cosmetic reasons alone. To reduce TOC, an interior finish coating (or coatings) must be developed that will eliminate the need to paint for strictly cosmetic reasons.

This project will be executed in two phases. The first phase is an investigative task into design and formulation of improved interior coatings. The requirements and optimal characteristics of finish coatings will be identified, and materials will be acquired and incorporated into an experimental design. The second phase will focus on the demonstration and qualification of an optimized interior finish coating. A candidate coating (or coatings) will be produced to perform a shipyard demonstration. Following a successful demonstration, a request to qualify letter will be sent to NAVSEA 05M to initiate the qualification process.

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