The US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) has partnered with the University of California, Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) mechanical engineering department to develop an automated corrosion testing system.

The nine-month project seeks to address the challenges of corrosion on US naval combat systems.

Since September last year, NSWC PHD and its private-public partnership Fathomwerx Lab have been working with a team of five UCSB seniors and other faculty members.

Under the project, the partners plan to build an automated corrosion testing system (ACTS).

This system is expected to serve as a possible solution to corrosion.

NSWC PHD lead materials engineer Armen Kvryan said: “The Navy can utilise the automated corrosion testing system for research and development and new design application, but what we plan on using this for is overall maintenance, and to understand more how we can contribute to ship readiness.

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“When we do these tests with specific machinery, such as ACTS, we get unique information that lets us decide whether the asset is ready to go on its mission or not.”

The team aims to complete the ACTS by this June. The system features a sump pump in the middle and two rotating arms to submerge an object ‘in and out of water to accelerate corrosion’.

According to Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), a computer interface manages the automated corrosion testing system.

The interface also controls water temperature, salinity and pH level.

In July 2019, the US Navy started the Wartime Acquisition Scalable Plan (WASP) tabletop exercise at Washington Navy Yard to improve the readiness of ships in a conflict environment.