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U.S. Naval Facility Adopts Alternative Parts Cleaning System

“Agitation-based” washing machine provides environmentally friendly, cost-effective way to clean aircraft wheel bearings and other critical components.

A recent release published by the Naval Air Systems Command, or NAVAIR,1 reported on a development concerning a new environmentally friendly, cost-effective way to clean aircraft wheel bearings and other critical components that can’t be exposed to water. The land-based and shipboard system, the Clarus PCS-10, is currently in place at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., has been proven to save time, money and labor.

The NAWCAD Lakehurst site has been replacing existing solvent part washer units at designated land-based activities and in the fleet at the rate of six per month since installation began in August 2011. This is important to NAS Lemoore and other California Naval activities because they would not have been able to perform the basic maintenance with old solvents that did not comply with air quality regulations.

“Excellent solvency, corrosion inhibition, low toxicity fast drying times, high flash point and minimal odor are expected benefits,” said Christopher Mahendra, project engineer of the Clarus PCS-10 system, which uses agitation in a turbulent solvent bath that doesn’t pollute. “It is simpler in terms of both supportability and training to develop a common, flexible unit for all of the Naval activities engaged in similar processes.”

The PCS-10 was designed and tested to meet shipboard shock, mechanical vibration, and electromagnetic interference requirements. According to early adopters, the system brings immediate changes aboard ship. For instance, sailors aboard ship no longer carry cleaned parts to another unit across a maintenance room to dry them. Instead, they clean the parts and remove them dry from the new self-contained unit for evaluation, repacking—with grease—and re-use.

“The installations we do aboard ships take two to three weeks,” said Dan Burton, corrosion control installation lead at NAWCAD Lakehurst. “Initially, there is hesitation as we represent change, but by the time we complete the installations and operator training, they love us and the solvent parts washer. In a year and a half we have had no complaints about the washer or our training.”

The complete release is available from the NAVAIR news archive.

REFERENCES

  1. The primary mission of Naval Air Systems Command, or NAVAIR, is to provide full life-cycle support of naval aviation aircraft, weapons and systems operated by Sailors and Marines. This support includes research, design, development and systems engineering; acquisition; test and evaluation; training facilities and equipment; repair and modification; and in-service engineering and logistics support. Established in 1966 as the successor to the Navy’s Bureau of Naval Weapons, NAVAIR is headquartered in Patuxent River, Md., with military and civilian personnel stationed at eight locations across the continental United States and one site overseas.
     

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Aerospace  •  Environmental & Regulatory Compliance  •  Industry Trends & Happenings  •  Marine

 

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