Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why we decommissioned all the SPRU so early ...

There are some wars that you will never win. Some opponents will always advance and all you can do is fight a holding action. You can slow the advance, but you will never halt it.

Why? Well, in this war your weapons are paint, primer, and needle guns;
“We’re fighting the second law of thermodynamics,” Dunmire likes to say.
For those who forgot their laws,
Exposed iron and steel naturally revert to their lowest energy states by giving up their electrons to oxygen and water.
Interesting article on, of all things, corrosion over at TheAtlantic by Tim Heffernan, Rust Never Sleeps;
In thrall to the era of Little Digital, we overlook that this is still the era of Big Analog. Our mobile, personal, wireless world is utterly reliant on a massive, interwoven, mechanical counterpart. And lots of that big stuff is rusting. Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers releases its Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The latest, from 2013, gives the country a D+ overall. Broken down by category, our ports get a C; energy gets a D+; aviation, dams, drinking water, hazardous waste, roads, transit, and wastewater all get D’s; inland waterways and levees, each a D–. Rail manages a C+, as do bridges. Solid waste leads the class with a B–. Shortfalls in investment and innovation play a role in our poor showing. But the main problem is simple deterioration. Public and private dollars have been poured into building American infrastructure. They have been in limited supply for the task of maintaining it. I’m tempted to invoke a cliché and say that the deterioration is happening before our very eyes, but that would miss the key point: the deterioration is happening, and we’re not seeing it at all.
We all have heard what those in the yards have seen over the last two decades about how much more corrosion we have in our ships than we think we do, and it seems that this is not just a Navy problem, but a national problem.

We are doing something wrong. 

Are we always assuming the best when it comes to corrosion rates? Are we overestimating our corrosion prevention measures and technology? Are we simply "painting over things" on our watch so that someone else has do deal with it later?

When you look at money we're spending - that doesn't seem to be the answer either. Whatever the answer is, what we've been doing does not seem to be it.

Blogger note: I don't know who is doing this, but TheAtlantic is producing better than average work in the last few months. Still has a few bats in the belfry, but some of the newer stuff is ... well ... good. Time will take care of the bats; crack on.

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