The European Defence Agency (EDA) has successfully completed its corrosion control for navy ships (CCNS) programme to test and identify solutions to help mitigate surface deterioration.
Heightened running costs and the limitation of vessels' operational availability are just two of the risks exacerbated by corrosion and surface protection issues.
Addressing concerns relating to corrosion is becoming more of a priority due to increased military requirements and environmental regulations.
Requirements stating that repair intervals need to be extended to six to ten years are now set to be implemented, with the aim of minimising maintenance levels and associated costs and ensuring vessel security, in addition to satisfying environmental guidelines.
These regulations will involve a wide range of consequences, including a serious impact on potential risks, unsuitability and / or suppression of existing technical solutions. The EDA conducted the CCNS programme from 2013 to 2016 to address these issues.
The project aimed to find new approaches and solutions for defining the adapted conditions-based maintenance, and to establish critical areas within corrosion control technology.
The CCNS study claimed that the process of data collection is challenging, particularly in terms of measuring on-board currents. A detailed database was created in response, which included relevant and usable information for the modelling of cathodic protection.
It is hoped collection and implementation of such information into an improved numerical model will optimise the systems used by navies across all participating nations.
The study included a series of tests, and entailed development of a sensor to provide a proper solution for on-board applications, which has since been commercialised.
New, faster-accelerated ageing tests have also provided positive results, emphasising the relevance of real in-service degradation of coatings and corrosion.
The project also included participation from major European industrial stakeholders, European research institutes, specialised enterprises and academic organisations.
Image: EDA’s CCNS programme aims at controlling navy ship corrosion. Photo: courtesy of EDA.