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Sherwin-Williams Polysiloxane Coating is New Big Gun in U.S. Navy’s Battle to Sink the High Cost of Maintenance and Repair


Showcased at Mega Rust 2011, Polysiloxane XLE-80 HAPS Free provides long-term color and gloss stability, enhances corrosion resistance, and reduces application and maintenance costs

CLEVELAND – Saltwater is the ever-present, costly enemy of Navy ships – a major cause of corrosion. A new weapon in the anti-corrosion arsenal, Sherwin-Williams Polysiloxane XLE-80 HAPS Free, was showcased at Mega Rust 2011, held June 6-9 in Norfolk, Va. A Navy project using the coating was reported on in the presentation, “Time & Cost Savings Associated with the Application of MIL-PRF-24635 Type V Polysiloxane to the Freeboard of the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6),” delivered by Gordon Kuljian, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Consultant; Paul Slebodnick, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory; and Mark Schultz, Sherwin-Williams Protective and Marine Coatings. An analysis completed as part of the project estimated that coating and labor costs are 26% less when using polysiloxane compared to using silicone alkyd.

Silicone alkyd has been used for many years by the U.S. Navy; however, as a topcoat it did not offer long-lasting performance. When the military performance specification (MIL-PRF-24635) for weather-resistant exterior coatings added new high-durability classifications (Type V), it opened the door to alternative technologies that supported the Navy’s efforts to reduce the growing costs of corrosion by using coatings that offer longer service life, require less maintenance and can be cleaned versus repainted. Sherwin-Williams Polysiloxane XLE-80 HAPS Free epoxy siloxane meets these requirements.

When the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard required exterior painting during a just-concluded 10-month maintenance period, Polysiloxane XLE-80 HAPS Free was chosen for the freeboard topcoat. It combines the properties of an epoxy and a polyurethane in one coat, providing superior corrosion protection, color stability and gloss retention.

A number of important cost- and time-saving advantages were gained as a result using Polysiloxane XLE-80 HAPS Free. The dedicated drydock time for exterior painting was reduced because the polysiloxane system requires fewer coats (two instead of the traditional three plus a stripe coat). The excellent exterior durability provides the Navy the opportunity to reduce or eliminate future needs for sailors to apply maintenance paint for aesthetics – a common practice when silicone alkyd is applied as a topcoat. The silicone alkyd low solar absorption (LSA) formulas used by the U.S. Navy to reduce heat absorption into the vessels have a tendency to shift color from haze gray to pink over time. The “pinking” of Navy ships, never a favorite of the ship’s crew, is greatly reduced with the use of Polysiloxane XLE-80 HAPS Free technology. Now instead of maintenance painting, sailors can clean the freeboard instead. The Navy can also expect longevity of USS Bonhomme Richard’s new topcoat to be at least two to three times that of silicone alkyd.

Other features include:

Low solar absorption (LSA) semi-gloss, self-priming
Color stability and excellent gloss retention
High solids (80% by volume)
Low VOC content
HAPS free
Corrosion and chemical resistance

Sherwin-Williams is a global protective and marine coatings company that delivers smarter asset protection and unmatched service and specification support to its customers from 3,900 locations worldwide. From alkyds to zincs, the company offers a complete line of time-tested, high performance coatings and systems to combat corrosion, supported by the largest group of NACE-certified coatings inspectors in the industry. With more than 140 years in business and a culture of product innovation, Sherwin-Williams today is the single source of supply for coatings solutions made to your specifications and delivered on time, every time.


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