The U.S. Navy’s $3 Billion-a-Year Oxidation Problem

Popular Mechanics: Rust: The U.S. Navy’s $3 Billion-a-Year Oxidation Problem

Where there’s a lot of metal, there’s a lot of rust.

* The U.S. Navy spends $3 billion a year fighting rust, according to
* Corrosion takes place both on ships and shore, affecting cruisers, helicopters, and fighter jets.
* A deep fix of corrosion issues on just two ships cost the service $170 million alone.

The U.S. Navy was founded in 1775, and every day since has faced the same implacable enemy: iron oxide, or rust. For more than 200 years, this quiet war has caused untold billions—and there’s no end in sight.

According to the Los Angeles Times, rust costs the U.S. Navy $3 billion billion a year, or at least it did in 2014. Spread over 293 ships that’s the equivalent of $10.2 million per ship. But some of the Navy’s ships are huge, with aircraft carriers displacing 100,000 tons while littoral combat ships (LCS) displace 3,900 tons. The tiny, aluminum-hulled LCS suffers from fewer corrosion issues.


WNU Editor: One thing that I have noticed about the Chinese Navy is how clean and rust-free their ships look. It is almost as if there is a permanent crew on board whose sole job is to paint the ship.

Author: Anchorman

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