Making the Case for Covers

The Pressure is on to Reduce the Cost of Corrosion and Maintenance, Increase Readiness 

THE ISSUE: 

Unprotected equipment outside is deteriorating; water intrusion, mold, UV, and corrosion.  Corrosion impairs the readiness of military armament. The Army reported a significant number of failures due to corrosion on the 155 mm medium-towed howitzer so severe that they resulted in aborted missions. A study estimates that between 30 to 40 percent of the aborts are direct results of corrosion.

Corrosion is also identified as accounting for 39 percent of all unscheduled maintenance for the howitzer, further reducing the readiness levels of the equipment.** Corrosion Cost for Army Ground Vehicles is 12.6 percent of the total maintenance costs for all Army Ground Vehicles.* Corrosion accounts for 8 percent of weapons down-time or instances wherein they do not function properly.

Army Vehicles with the Highest Average per Vehicle and Total Corrosion-Related Cost*

LINDescriptionAverage corrosion-related cost per vehicle (thousands)Rank in top 20 of corrosion related cost per vehicleTotal corrosion related cost (thousands)Rank in top -20 of total corrosion related costCombined average and total cost ranking
T13168Tank Combat Full Tracked 120mm gun M1A198312898425
T13305Tank Combat Full Tracked 120mm gun M1A213426258135
H57642Howitzer Medium Self Propelled50734309512
F40375Fighting Vehicle Full Tracked Industry Hi Survivability221332229619
R50681Recovery Vehicle Full Tracked Medium191421397923
G78306Generator Set Diesel 60Kw50/60Hz-Trailer Mounted329138841524
T96883Trailer Flatbed 5 Ton 4-Wheel General Purpose121925753827
YF200RMine Resistant Vehicle Cart 12611107041829
THE SOLUTION:

Protective Covers. Almost all vehicles that have turrets leak have the following issues: internal mold and corrosion, coating system deterioration due to UV and abrasion, equipment electronic failure from corrosion and excessive heat damage during storage, airborne particulates which cause corrosion and sand damage to windscreens. Protective covers are having a dramatic effect in reducing corrosion from UV, sand, moisture and airborne pollutants.

To be effective a cover needs, at a minimum, to be extremely air permeable to naturally offload moisture and heat.  The US Army is having success using special corrosion-reducing covers. An effective protective cover, employed correctly, will significantly improve readiness, reduce maintenance and extend life cycle. “Corrosion remains the largest preventable cost to the U.S. military, a cost which exceeds $23.0 billion per year.”

Heat, dust, UV rays and moisture degrade military hardware, leading to decreased readiness, increased manpower requirements and significantly higher long-term costs.

Ask the Tough Questions: Selecting a Protective Cover for Your Equipment

 DURABILITY:
  • Is the Cover Hydrophobic, so that it will not absorb water or freeze?
  • Is the Cover Oleophobic so that it will not absorb fuel and lubricants?
  • Will the Cover filter out the fine sand, dust and pollution found in theatre?
  • Does the cover eliminate the destructive “greenhouse effect” in both short and long term use?
 SCIENCE: 
  • Is the Cover lightweight, easy to pack and does it require minimal storage space?
  • Can the Cover be easily cleaned in a washing machine or with soap and water in the field?
  • Will the Cover prevent scratches to wind-screens and lenses and reduce paint wear?
  • Can tears and rips to the cover be easily repaired in the field?
USABILITY:
  • Will the Cover withstand ultraviolet ray (UV) exposure for at least 36 months of 24/7 use?
  • Is the fabric durable enough to sustain rough handling after hundreds of uses?
  • Will the Cover maintain its effectiveness?
For more information about the benefits and cost savings of adopting covers into your equipment lifecycle management program, contact your ADS Representative.

REFERENCES: 

*Reference : CorrDefense Volume 9, Number 1 Spring 2013 Inside DOD: DOD estimates the Effect of Corrosion on the Cost and Availability of Army Ground Vehicles

**Reference: GAO-03-753

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