Single-Coat, Rapid-Cure Tank Coating Systems Authorized

By Frank Shay, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Mechanical Engineer

NORFOLK – Thanks to the approval of a single coat paint system now authorized for use Sailors will spend less time performing the challenging and decidedly un-fun task of painting tanks and voids. The new system also cures faster than previously used systems, requiring less down time for the spaces in question.

In the past, ultra-high solid coating systems used in tanks and voids were a three coat system (i.e., prime, stripe, and top coats) requiring about 24 hours between coats and seven days for final curing before they could be placed back in service. The total time required for an entire coating system to be applied and cured could be 10 or more days.

That process added a significant amount of time to already tight production schedules and increases costs due to manpower, dry dock time, materials, equipment, application supplies, inspection and rework. Missed overcoat windows and loss of adhesion between coats can lead to failure. The current process slows production and is costly to the shipyards and the Navy.

The new single-coat, rapid-cure tank coating systems combine the three coating steps (prime, stripe, and top coats) into a single evolution. Application during a single coating evolution in a tank, the cure time is four hours before touch-up, and eight to 24 hours before service. Tanks coated with single-coat, rapid-cure technologies are ready for service within 48 hours after initial application, thus drastically reducing production time. Time in dry dock will be greatly reduced, and manpower and material costs will be minimized.

The benefits and savings include:
•Average 30% reduction in overall production time
•Average 10% reduction in application cost (direct labor)
•Self-priming (can be applied in a single coat vice three)
•Has the capability of being applied to tanks while ship is waterborne at temperatures ranging from 32 ºF to 120 ºF, and able to cure within seven days at 25 ºF
•Requires less than four hours to cure hard and eight hours to fully cure for service
•Requires 30 minutes or less to overcoat (walk on time)

As well as many others.

Single coat has been authorized in accordance with NAVSEA 05P letter 05P/294 of 11 Sept 08 - Technical Authorization to Install “Single Coat” Paint Systems on New Construction and In-Service Ships and Submarines, NAVSEA 05P letter 05P/416 of 11 Dec 08 - Technical Authorization to Install “Single Coat” Paint Systems in Fuel Tanks and Compensating Fuel Tanks on New Construction and In-Service Ships and Submarines and NAVSEA Standard Item 009-32, FY10 CH-1, dated March 9, 2009.