A five-member team of researchers from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering received the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Prize for Affordability, Aug. 26, at an award ceremony held at ONR in Alexandria, Va.
The award honors materials research engineers James Martin, head of the Marine Coatings Science Section, Jimmy Tagert, and John Wegand; research chemist, Dr. Erick Iezzi; and physical scientist technician, Paul Slebodnick for significant contributions to an overall reduction in the total ownership costs associated with corrosion control of Navy ships and submarines and achievements in the development and transition of nonskid and topside coatings to the fleet. The team formulated, synthesized, and commercialized topside and nonskid coatings having longer life, high durability, improved weathering resistance and color stability, to replace both legacy nonskid decking and topside coatings. The Navy installs nearly 3.7 million square feet of non-skid coatings per year that typically cost over $56 million annually. Conventional epoxy based nonskids have a 12 to 36 month lifecycle, while topside coatings have a 24 to 36 month life. The new NRL-developed polysiloxane system doubles or triples the life expectancy of this system. For topside coatings, not only are lifetimes increased, but also installation costs are reduced by up to 28 percent through the reduced number of coats over conventional systems. As a result, polysiloxane coatings systems have been qualified and approved for use by Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and have been mandated for all topside depot level maintenance availabilities. The NRL polysiloxane nonskid decking system is planned for qualification in 2015. At present, the nonskid coatings system has exceeded the one-year flight deck requirement on-board the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), has outperformed all previous nonskids on-board the USS Michigan (SSGN 727), and is still performing well on-board the USS Bulkeley (DDG 84). On Navy submarines, this system is the only system ever to pass the submarine nonskid requirements. The Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering (CCSE) conducts broad scientific and engineering programs to understand and reduce the effects of the marine environment on naval systems. Within the CCSE, the Marine Coatings Science Section conducts basic and applied research to synthesize and produce advanced, multi-functional marine coatings technology for all naval environments including immersion, alternate immersion and atmospheric exposures typical of Navy and Marine Corps platforms.