European researchers complete naval corrosion protection study

Illustration. Photo: NATO MARCOM

European researchers, enterprises and academic organizations have completed a long-running study on ways to protect navy ships from corrosion.

Dubbed the Corrosion Control for Navy Ships, the European Defence Agency (EDA) led project ran from 2013-2016 and resulted in a number of potential solutions and scientific publications on the corrosion problem.

Increasing military requirements combined with environmental regulations, such as REACH, lead to critical situations in the sense that they put at risk the operational availability and running costs of navy ships in terms of corrosion and surface protection, EDA said.

In addition, there is a requirement to extend repair intervals to 6-10 years in order to reduce maintenance levels and related costs, to maintain ship security and to comply with environmental regulations.

In this context, the aim of the project was to consider new approaches and solutions for defining in particular the adapted conditions based maintenance.

Through its extensive tests, the project produced positive results in the field of sensors and fouling treatment. One commercialised sensor, according to the EDA, offers a promising solution for on-board applications. Interesting results for new faster accelerated aging tests have also been obtained, showing the relevance to real in-service degradation of coatings and corrosion.

EDA further said the study revealed that the process of data collection is especially challenging in terms of measuring on-board currents. A database including relevant and usable data for modeling of cathodic protection was created. Collection and integration of such data into an improved numerical model will help optimise the systems used by navies of all participating countries.

The project was managed and funded by France (DGA), Germany (WiWEB), Italy (Marina Difensa) and UK (DSTL) in the frame of the European Defence Agency, and carried out by Institut de la Corrosion (Project leader, France) DCNS research (France), Centro Sviluppo Materiali (Italy), CNR-ISMAR (Italy), BAE Systems (UK), University of Southampton (UK) and AISH technologies (UK) with contribution from DGA (France), BWA WIWeB and BWB WTD 71 (Germany).

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