Ocean City Research Corp. Case Studies

Ocean City Research Corporation (OCRC), incorporated in 1963, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Corrpro Companies, Inc. Collectively, the Corrpro affiliated companies represent one of the largest global independent consulting corrosion engineering organizations. See the list below for various case studies from OCRC and for more information about its laboratory capabilities and range of services. 

Abrams Environmental Assessment
corrosion testingOcean City Research conducted a programmatic environmental analysis of the M1A2 Main Battle Tank Upgrade Program. The analysis was conducted to ensure any possible environmental consequences were fully mitigated in keeping with the United States Army environmental stewardship policy. The analysis was influenced by various Army and Department of Defense regulations, policies and guidelines and complied with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as described in Title 40 CFR Part 1500.

The analysis included assessments of all M1A2 life cycle phases including design, production, operation, maintenance and demilitarization. Each life cycle phase was thoroughly reviewed to identify existing and/or potential adverse environmental impacts associated with the program. Each risk area identified was analyzed to determine if alternatives were available to reduce or eliminate associated environmental impact risks. Data regarding cost savings associated with the implementation of environmental impact mitigations were also developed.

Alternative Material Selection System for Cadmium (AMSS-Cd)
Ocean City Research Corp. assisted the U.S. Army Industrial Operations Command (IOC) Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in the identification and qualification of environmentally friendly solvents for use in the repair of composite honeycomb helicopter panels. The project involved engineering review and analysis of the latest generation of precision-cleaning solvents, evaluation of shop processes and performance requirements and extensive qualification testing in our Ocean City labs.The results of the program have impacted CCAD repair operations and have also provided new cleaning options for critical cleaning applications in Army aviation.

Alternative Degreasing for Composite Honeycomb Repair
degreasingOcean City Research Corp. assisted the U.S. Army Industrial Operations Command (IOC) Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in the identification and qualification of environmentally friendly solvents for use in the repair of composite honeycomb helicopter panels. The project involved engineering review and analysis of the latest generation of precision-cleaning solvents, evaluation of shop processes and performance requirements, and extensive qualification testing in our Ocean City labs.

The results of the program have impacted CCAD repair operations and have also provided new cleaning options for critical cleaning applications in Army aviation.

Economic Analysis
corrosion testing OCRC uses its extensive engineering experience to precisely characterize the economic impact of potential cost saving measures. When performing an economic analysis, OCRC captures all of the cost savings realized throughout the entire lifecycle of a system. The result is an accurate analysis that includes many hidden and often overlooked sources of savings.

For example, OCRC performed economic assessments of over 80 pollution prevention (P2) initiatives for the US Army Materiel Command. For each of the environmental initiatives, OCRC determined every source of potential cost savings to include process improvements, procurement savings, hazardous waste disposal savings, handling and storage savings, compliance savings and worker health and safety savings. As a result, OCRC was able justify upfront costs based on future savings.

OCRC is committed to providing its clients with accurate cost savings data so that they can make informed decisions about future investment opportunities.

Engineering for Reduced Maintenance of Ballast Tanks
engineering supportOCRC helped the US Naval Sea Systems Command develop and implement a new and effective protocol for preserving the interior ballast tanks of Navy vessels. Fleet maintenance officers have identified internal ballast tank maintenance as one of the Fleet's significant maintenance burdens. The Navy turned to OCRC to develop and help them implement new strategies that would double, or even triple, the service life of internal tank coating systems. After determining the common patterns and causes of corrosion inside Navy ship ballast tanks, we performed an exhaustive search of worldwide shipbuilding and ship maintenance practices in order to form the basis for the solution of the problem. The new Navy protocol consisted of several key elements, such as:

  • Installation of environmental controls inside the tank during all coating application activities
  • Total elimination of ionic contaminants on the steel substrate
  • 100% solids epoxy coating with edge retention characteristics
  • Utilizing effective stripe coating techniques
  • Enforcement of strict quality assurance procedures

OCRC prepared working specifications for shipyards engaged in such work. After test ships were identified, our engineers held onsite training seminars for the shipyard personnel. During actual work, we provided full-time onsite technical assistance to shipyard painting shops in an effort to aid in proper application and training. Support was provided during overhauls of the following vessels: USS OGDEN (LPD-5), USS COMSTOCK (LSD-45), USS NASHVILLE (LPD-13) and USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72).

Joint Group on Acquisition Pollution Prevention (JG-APP)
OCRC has assisted the Headquarters, U.S. Army Materiel Command  with the management of the JG-APP program by providing engineering, technical and analytical services to the Army’s Joint Pollution Prevention Advisory Board (JPPAB) member. The Joint Logistics Commanders chartered the JG-APP in 1994 to coordinate joint service pollution prevention activities. In 1998, JG-APP was merged with the Joint Policy Coordinating Group on the depot maintenance's pollution prevention efforts to create the Joint Group on Pollution Prevention (JG-PP). The DoD/industry collaborative effort is focused on reducing overall program pollution prevention costs by reducing duplication of efforts. Ocean City Research Corp. has played an integral role in the execution of each phase of this methodology. Ongoing projects include validating alternatives to:

  • Chromate primers for corrosion protection on aircraft exterior mold line skins
  • Cadmium for corrosion protection and threaded part lubricity
  • Tin lead surface finishes on circuit cards
  • VOCs in conformal coatings
  • Lead in dry film lubricants
  • VOCs in primers and topcoats
  • VOCs in identification markings
  • Zinc chromate primers for galvanic corrosion protection.

Alternative Paint Strippers to Methylene Chloridecorrosion protection
OCRC, in cooperation with Anniston Army Depot, conducted laboratory tests of numerous methylene chloride alternatives. Because the stripper works exceptionally well in removing the Army’s epoxy primer/polyurethane topcoat Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) system, depot workers use methylene chloride to remove coatings from refurbished parts.

In its evaluation, OCRC conducted laboratory tests of 15 different stripper chemicals. Engineers at Anniston required any potential substitute to be able to use existing facilities with minimal investment. To meet this requirement, OCRC evaluated all candidates on their ability to function as a drop-in replacement to methylene chloride. While none of the 15 candidates could perform as well as methylene chloride, given residence time and post-treatment constraints, OCRC still identified three alternatives that could adequately strip the coatings with minor process modifications. With two full-scale materials and coatings labs, OCRC was able to develop a custom test methodology to identify methylene chloride substitutes that would be effective.

corrosion testingGuide for Preparing Army ODC Elimination Plans
Ocean City Research Corp. has prepared a clear, concise guide for the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations Management (ACSIM) to assist installation commanders in the development of Ozone-Depleting Chemical (ODC) Elimination Plans. These guides have been distributed to all active Army, Reserve and National Guard installations.

This guide not only provides the installation commander with a summation of Army, DoD, national and international laws and regulations pertaining to the use of ODCs, but also provides precise, step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a proper installation ODC elimination plan.

engineering supportSmart Ship Support
Ocean City Research played a vital role in helping the US Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command implement new corrosion control initiatives as part of the Chief of Naval Operation's Smartship program. This program was designed to utilize new technologies and innovative procedures with a goal of reducing manning level requirements on board Navy vessels. Several areas on board ships present unique challenges to the corrosion engineer and are in constant need of corrosion control. Such maintenance requires significant time from the ship's force - time that could be spent on other mission critical needs. One of the goals of the Smartship program was to reduce sailors’ time spent on painting.

To achieve the goals of reducing sailor's time spent on painting problem areas, our engineers selected certain corrosion prone areas including the deck and foundations under air conditioning plants, condensation prone areas in the main engine rooms, sonar dome equipment room and seawater piping inside the fuel pump room. Corrpro trained a dedicated crew of the ship's force sailors in the represervation protocol, which represented the best available technology in the industry. Such technology initiatives included the use of improved coatings, specially designed surface preparation tools, new application techniques and improved environmental enhancements, such as local dehumidification.

corrosion testingProductivity Study of Waterjetting for Paint Removal
The National Shipbuilding Research Program commissioned Ocean City Research Corporation to perform a two-year study to investigate the productivity of water jetting in the ship building and ship repair industry. Work was performed for the Surface Preparation and Coatings Panel of the NSRP, a consortium of industry and government officials with the mission of increasing the competitiveness of United States shipbuilding and ship repair.

OCRC engineers traveled to a variety of ships and offshore structures that were either in new construction or under maintenance dockings. Structures included Navy aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, chemical product tankers, oil tankers and offshore platforms. Data was gathered on production rates of coating removal from various freeboard, underwater hull, ballast tank and non-skid decking areas. Contamination removal efficiency, impact on the adhesion of coatings and worker productivity issues were also studied.

Data was compiled and presented in the form of a final report to the NSRP panel. The details of the study and findings were presented to a worldwide forum of marine corrosion engineers at the Steel Structures Painting Council's National Conference in Orlando, Florida in November 1998.

Highlights of the study were published in the conference proceedings. No such study has ever been published on this quickly emerging technology. The information presented in the report was used by shipyard planners, engineers, estimators and contractors for making sound decisions about using waterjetting for marine coating removal.

Performance Testing of Waterborne CARC Primers
Ocean City Research Corp. assisted the U.S. Army operations command centers for technical excellence (CTX) program in evaluating the performance of waterborne epoxy CARC primer. The project developed coating performance data that was used to determine if coating systems incorporating the alternative, environmentally acceptable primer were as robust as the currently used systems.

The results of the program have impacted CARC coating application on aluminum vehicle hulls such as the M113 and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

corrosion testingMarket Survey on Carbon Regeneration
Ocean City Research Corp. (OCRC) supported the U.S. Army’s efforts to eliminate their chemical and biological warfare agent stockpiles. OCRC conducted a Market Survey on Carbon Regeneration for CBDCOM. The survey focused on carbon regeneration and other potential alternative methods for the handling of the filter carbon waste stream generated at the various DEMIL/stockpile activities throughout the country. This waste stream presented numerous challenges because of the nature of the contaminants and chemical warfare agents.

The results of the survey show that at the present time there is no suitable alternative method to handle this waste stream. This situation is certain to change though with the conversion from specifications to performance standards and the innovation of waste treatment technologies.

materialsEnvironmentally Acceptable Materials for the Corrosion Protection of Steel Bridges
Ocean City Research Corp. completed a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) program to evaluate the performance of new technology coating systems designed to meet recently promulgated environmental requirements. Key program elements included:

  • Forty-seven different coating materials were tested in the laboratory and in the field. Field testing included exposure at a marine test site and on two bridges in marine environments.
  • Testing was conducted over five different prepared substrates allowing for comparison of product performance over the range of surface conditions that may be found in the field.
  • A survey of the painting practices of all 50 State Departments of Transportation was conducted to determine what the current painting practices are for new construction and maintenance painting. This included determining what areas of bridge structures suffer from the most significant corrosion and coating deterioration.

corrosion coatingsGuidelines for the Repair and Maintenance of Bridge Coatings
Ocean City Research Corp. completed a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) program to evaluate the performance of coatings used for maintenance painting of bridges. The program is designed to evaluate the performance of maintenance painting using minimal surface preparation (nominally 1000 psi water wash, with minimal use of air powered tools). The impetus for this program was the proliferation of "overcasting" as a strategy for dealing with lead based paint. Key program elements included:

  • Sixteen different coating systems were field tested on four bridges in nine distinctly different environments. In total, 113 test patches with an average size of about 20 square feet were applied. These patches were then evaluated for up to three years.
  • Each of the bridges was different with respect to its coating condition and possible suitability for maintenance painting.
  • Prepared guidelines to alternative maintenance painting strategies. A cornerstone of these guidelines is assessing the factors influencing the economics of various maintenance options.

Army Environmental Support Office
The Army's Environmental Support Office (ESO) works to integrate pollution prevention (P2) measures into the Army acquisition process and weapon system management to reduce environmental constraints on warfighter readiness. ESO serves as a representative of the Army Acquisition Executive (AAE), the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT) and the Commanding General of the Army Materiel Command (AMC).

ESO leads the Army's Program to:

  • Eliminate requirements for hazardous materials in the design, manufacture, maintenance, operation and demilitarization of weapon systems and materiel 
  • Review and revise standardized documents, including specs and standards, to eliminate hazardous material requirements.
  • Reduce acquisition of hazardous materials and uses of these materials in manufacturing and industrial processes.
  • Eliminate the use of Class I ODSs in weapon systems.
  • Assist materiel developers in executing their environmental responsibilities as specified in Army regulations and the DoD 5000 series documents.

Corrpro works to support ESO's role in the Army's acquisition pollution prevention efforts, including maintaining the database and web pages for the Army's Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Reserve and authorized users list, participating on Integrated Process Teams for P2, and serving as ESO's POC for perchlorate-related issues and concerns.

corrosion testingAlternative Burning Technology
Radford and McAlester Army Ammunition Plants must dispose of significant amounts of scrap or off-spec propellant each year. Traditionally, they used clay-lined steel pans for the burning operations. Bare metal pans would warp from the heat of the burning propellant and clay-lined pans lasted longer but the clay had to be disposed of several times each year as hazardous waste. Once the Army redesigned the pans, Corrpro assisted by arranging for the manufacture of ceramic refractory lined pans which resulted in a hazardous waste reduction of over 500,000 pounds annually and saved $400,000 in hazardous waste disposal costs.

Environmental Management Systems ISO14001
Executive Order (EO) 13148 (April 21, 2000) requires federal agencies to implement an Environmental Management System (EMS) that focuses on prevention of pollution by 31 December 2005. Consistent with this requirement, Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) has further directed Army installations to adopt and implement the internationally recognized environmental management system standard, ISO 14001, to improve the way environmental management supports the Army's mission. The importance of the Army's mission and transformation demand a commitment to continual improvement in management practice to enhance the Army's overall mission performance.

Corrpro has a team of experienced ISO 14001 auditors who are skilled engineers and environmental specialists. The Corrpro team has performed ISO 14001 gap analyses, audits, training and EMS implementation assistance at eleven joint munitions command installations. Although the executive order mandate to implement ISO 14001 has been met by the JMC installations with Corrpro's assistance, Corrpro continues to support the JMC in environmental management tasks related to ISO 14001 system maintenance and by providing external audits of the systems at the installations.

Corrpro has also developed a PDA-based EMS audit tool for use by the JMC installations to establish consistency in audit expectations throughout the command and to provide for automation in audit report generation. This audit tool was rigorously field tested by experienced RAB-QSA lead auditors during actual registration audits.

Corrpro's ISO 14001 implementation assistance team aids government agencies, businesses and industry with their EMS needs.

P2 Support for Army Joint Munitions Command
The Joint Munitions Command (JMC) established its Pollution Prevention (P2) program in 1996 to respond to executive orders and Army guidance directing P2 as a recommended approach to reducing environmental liabilities. The program performs the role of integrating environmental considerations into research, development, acquisition, demil and industrial base activities. The P2 program managed at headquarters, JMC includes an Integrated Process Team (IPT) involving all subordinate activities and installations. The IPT is also known as Mission Sustainable Pollution Prevention (MSP2). Management of the program involves planning, budgeting, integrating and executing tasks supporting the Army's pollution prevention research, development, test and evaluation (RDTE) efforts resourced by various Army programs and other appropriations.

Corrpro provides on-site support to the Joint Munitions Command and management for the pollution prevention program and the MSP2. Corrpro is also responsible for evaluating and monitoring issues related to emerging chemicals of regulatory concern, ordnance pollution prevention projects, pollution prevention opportunity assessments, integrating P2 into the environmental management systems within the command, representing JMC in Army solvent substitution working group efforts, coordinating MSP2 meetings and writing and publishing JMC's newsletter "Environmental On The Line".