On-Board Repairs: Why Naval Forces Use Selective Plating

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On-Board Repairs: Why Naval Forces Use Selective Plating

Ship in Dry Dock for On-board RepairsDay in, day out, marine and naval equipment is subject to extreme conditions including, salt water, high temperatures, wear, corrosion and fatigue. The problem which comes with these conditions, is the length of downtime needed to repair key marine components and equipment.

Every second a vessel spends in the shipyard is one where it’s not delivering value. In the USA alone, investment in shipbuilding has grown steadily, with gross output in 2013 topping $28 billion. With these figures, it’s crucial to minimize downtime.

Despite the presence of other on-board repairs, such as machining, welding and plumbing, one of the biggest challenges when a ship or submarine is at sea, is putting metal back onto a part which has been over machined, worn, or corroded. With no time for sending vital components out for repair, selective brush plating has – for many years – been the method of choice.

This well-established and reliable process has already been written into shipbuilding specifications including the American Bureau of Shipping, Mil-STD 2197(SH) and NAVSEA. It’s a portable method of electroplating localized areas of metal surfaces for OEM components, permanent repairs and salvaging worn or mis-machined parts; providing a fast, efficient and targeted solution to corrosion, wear, galling, solderability and brazing. But the main benefit is portability. It can be brought into the shipyard, aboard vessels for on-board repairs, or anywhere it’s needed to enhance or repair components.

The SIFCO Process® has been adopted by naval forces across the US, UK and Japan, and is used on a wide range of components across the fleet. On turbine casings, for example, AeroNikl® has been successfully used for interference fits, providing a metal-to-metal seal with less risk for thermal disturbance than the previous repair method, welding.

Elsewhere, copper capped with AeroNikl® is used to fill pitting on seal surfaces of components such as main sea water valves and water tight hatches for missile tubes on aircraft carriers and submarines.  In these cases, selective plating can prevent the need either for disassembly and transportation to a machine shop (sea water valves), or for in-place machining after tig welding (water tight hatches).

The SIFCO Process® saves engineers and technicians thousands of dollars every year by cutting downtime, turnaround time and investment in new equipment. To learn more visit www.sifcoasc.com/marine.