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    Just a Drop of Water

    Corrosion Control

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Amanda Hayes | Coronado,California (November 4th, 2017) - Aviation Electrician's Mate 2nd Class...... read more read more

    Walking into the avionics shop of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 I am immediately engulfed by the smell of solder and various cleaning compounds permeating the air. After I regain my senses, I begin to take account of all the various wiring and electrical equipment and components laid out around the work space I have entered. Making my way toward one of the work benches, I ask a nearby Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class who is busily soldering a new relay into some test equipment why the air smells like rubbing alcohol.
    AE2 Marianne De Silva, a work center supervisor at HSC-4, proceeds to tell me that they are in the middle of performing corrosion control on some of their helicopter components.
    Corrosion control, a form of preventative maintenance, is a widespread Navy practice whether ship side or shore side. It ensures that the aircraft, ships and support equipment that the Navy is comprised of will not be overcome by damage due to oxidation; water or debris trapped inside and extends their overall longevity. It is also a matter of safety. When corrosion begins to take effect on electronics it could mean increased chances of component failure and consequently increasing the risk of personnel injury during the use of the equipment.
    “Just a drop of water inside electronic test equipment can cause a failure or relay to blow up like I am replacing here," De Silva said as she pointed to the charred remains of a relay sitting idly on her workbench. The test equipment she has been working on was rendered unusable for several months due to the relay burning up. From an economic standpoint it costs the Navy time and money to invest in new equipment or replacement parts. All of which could have been prevented with correct corrosion control maintenance.
    “Corrosion control may seem like a menial task but in the big picture it can save lives. If electrical equipment burns out or fails due to corrosion, especially in flight, that could mean a helicopter failing in flight and putting the crew on board in danger," De Silva said and she stressed the harm that salt water, salt air and dust can cause to an aircraft's electrical systems and frame.
    Across the room another sailor is feverishly cleaning what closely resembles tentacles splayed out in all directions. Airman Brandon Frush is working on the blade fold harness assembly of the MH-60S helicopter, making sure not to miss any small crevice as he inspected and scrubbed the components with a cleaning compound, a cloth rag and a pick. He visually combs over feet of cable that includes screws, clamps and metal sheathing to check for signs of corrosion damage and is careful to follow the guidelines and practice set forth by the Navy guidelines.
    “If I’m lucky I might get done with this harness today. It is a time consuming task but it’s important,” Frush said with a wry smile across his face. He continued to painstakingly clean the harness assembly. “Corrosion prevention can mean the difference between an aircraft taking off or being grounded for maintenance. If the equipment fails then the mission fails.”



    Date Taken: 11.04.2017
    Date Posted: 11.06.2017 12:13
    Story ID: 254130
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 

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