PORT HUENEME, Calif. — Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) Office of Workforce Development and Office of Technology (OOT) hosted a first-of-its-kind mentoring session, titled “Tim Talks,” with Command Materials Subject Matter Expert and Materials Laboratory Manager Tim Tenopir, Sept. 19.
The subject of the discussion, also the first of the series, was “Coatings—Common Urban Legends and Misconceptions.” Tenopir is utilizing the talk series as a high-velocity learning initiative for knowledge sharing.
Tenopir has over 38 years of experience working at NSWC PHD in materials, non-destructive testing, composites, corrosion, antenna repair, coatings and related engineering disciplines.
During the presentation, an introduction to common misconceptions about coatings, including aspects of chemical integrity of coatings, general periodicity for coatings overhaul, the effects of edges and shapes in the corrosion process, and multiple-layer dwelling, binding and surface attachment was provided.
“Don’t just assume because it looks dry, it feels dry, or you follow the instructions that the coating has been adequately applied,” said Tenopir. “Utilize proper materials and chemistry for what you’re dealing with.”
He also recommends utilizing a variety of non-destructive testing methods through engineering principles such as sound energy, X-ray, heat decay, ultrasonic, thermography, and acoustic impedance, which can help to determine the health of a structure and materials onboard ships in the fleet. The testing can also detect and indicate whether there are material or structural defects, damages, improper assembly or manufacturing and other faults.
“Visible evidence of composite corrosion is often too late if noticeable,” said Tenopir. “A radar system can cost upwards of $250,000 to replace.” To avoid costly failures and damage in complex combat weapons and communication systems such as these, he recommends finding a balance between offering protection yet not interfering with equipment capabilities.
“No single coating can be effective under all conditions,” said Tenopir. “Oftentimes sailors have to keep going back and doing ‘rust busting.’”
“Use materials with good ultraviolet-light protection, such as powder coating, silicone polymers, multi-coats, aluminum, a primer with good adhesion to metal and coatings that can deflect radio frequency beams,” recommended Tenopir. He also recommends keeping surfaces clean.
Tenopir has spent over six years promoting standardized principles in corrosion awareness and mitigation with other Warfare Centers in the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) enterprise and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command through the Materials Community of Interest.
“The stars have finally aligned for taking care of our destiny,” he said to the audience. “It will take people like you, working, creating and sharing knowledge to continue these efforts.”
Tenopir and the Surface Warfare Combat Systems Materials Lab (SWCSML), which he manages, has garnered recognition and approval from the Department of Defense Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office, NAVSEA Headquarters and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development Test and Evaluation, for pursuing these initiatives in corrosion policy oversight.
NSWC PHD has been positioned to become the materials center of excellence for surface warfare combat systems. The decision to establish the center was based on previous research and efforts within the Materials Community of Interest.
“The materials center of excellence will be achieved through cultivating a culture of innovation,” he said. “This will be founded on our relationships, credibility in our people and facilities and workforce development.” Tenopir considers these attributes as steadfast pillars for the lab’s success, having each pillar comprised of strategic elements.
“These far-reaching efforts and initiatives will affect every class of ship and every combat, communications and ordnance system in the U.S. Navy, as well as foreign military sales partners,” he said. “That’s our claim to fame as an In-Service Engineering Agent, to make the right decisions and to educate others on those decisions.”
To improve consistency and provide standardization, NAVSEA has established a series of standard items which govern various shipboard maintenance and repair operations of hull, mechanical and electrical equipment, including application and repair of coatings.
Materials are part of NSWC PHD’s In-Service Engineering Agent role and responsibilities for surface combat systems survivability, maintainability and affordability. The SWCSML contains unique and highly specialized test equipment needed for collaborative research, development, testing and evaluation.
NSWC PHD is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command and provides the global United States Navy fleet with integration, test and evaluation, life-cycle logistics, and in-service engineering for today's and tomorrow's warfare systems. Located at Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., NSWC PHD employs more than 2,000 personnel.