Sea Technology

NOV 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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20 ST | November 2018 F or many years, naval forces around the world have taken advantage of selective plating as an al- ternative to disassembling components for repair, helping reduce the down- time of critical naval fleet. This technology is already proven for the naval de- fense industry, and now commercial shipyards are realizing the benefits, too. Day in, day out, marine and naval equipment are subject to extreme condi- tions, including saltwater, high temperatures, wear, cor- rosion and fatigue. The problem that comes with these conditions is the length of downtime needed to repair key marine components and equipment. In the commercial sector, every second a vessel spends in the shipyard is one when it's not delivering value. In the U.S. alone, investment in shipbuilding has grown steadily, with gross output in 2013 topping $28 billion. With these figures, it's crucial to minimize downtime. In the naval defense sector, however, the challenge can be even greater. Despite the presence of onboard machining, welding and plumbing repair facilities, one of the biggest challenges when a naval submarine is at sea is putting metal back onto a part that has been over-machined, worn, corroded or eroded. With no time for sending vital components out for repair, selective brush plating has, for many years, been the method of choice for global naval forces. Traditional Plating Typical component problems and issues on a naval or marine vessel can include: fretting or wear on bearings fits and flanges due to continuous vibration; extensive wear on bearing cap faces and saddle areas; corrosion on various components such as compressed air valves and parts exposed to seawater; steam cuts on high-pressure turbine castings; worn Babbitt coatings on bearing shells; and out-of-toler- ance or mismachined shafts, housings and bearings. In some cases, tradi- tional tank plating is a suitable method of re- pair, which involves the use of large tanks of prepara- tory and plating solutions and often requires extensive masking. However, the procedure is not portable, mean- ing the overall process, by nature, is rigid and not suited to components that need plating particularly fast. In na- val defense, therefore, this process may not be possible due to the challenges mentioned above. Even where it is possible, every second of downtime counts, as costs can mount up very quickly. The use of this traditional method can hinder the pro- cess and increase downtime further due to the need to disassemble components, the time it takes to transport from shipyard to plating facility and the inevitable rein- stallation ahead of re-entering service. Making Protection Portable Instead, the naval defense sector has taken advan- tage of selective plating, a well-established and reliable process that has already been written into shipbuilding specifications. It is a portable method of electroplating localized areas of metal surfaces for OEM components, permanent repairs and salvaging worn or mismachined parts; providing a fast, efficient and targeted solution to Component Protection on Board Selective Plating Cuts Vessel Downtime for Repairs By Derek Vanek Extreme marine conditions accelerate corrosion, wear and fatigue.

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