The main and auxiliary condensers on the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) nuclear aircraft carrier accumulated a significant amount of scaling and foreign debris with a majority of it in the saltwater portion of the system. Each condenser contains 8,880 tubes measuring 0.5 inch in diameter and 16 feet in length, and is a critical component of the vessel’s main propulsion steam and electrical generating plants. Maintaining a high level of operational efficiency for mission-essential electronics and weapons equipment was critical. Traditionally, the condenser tubes were mechanically cleaned using a drill and high-pressure water blasting. This process was time-consuming and tedious requiring the heads to be removed from the condenser, cleaned and then reinstalled. On average, high-pressure water blasting results in 25% or more of the tubes with enough remaining deposits to fail eddy current probe testing.
- Q.E.D. Systems Inc., a Virginia Beach, VA-based marine engineering and technical services firm, a provider of a wide range of chemical cleaning services utilizing RYDLYME for the U.S. Navy, was brought in to clean the condensers.
- Without having to disassemble the condenser, RYDLYME was circulated through the condenser tubes.
- After the cleaning cycle, Q.E.D. inspected and videotaped the condition of the tubes and was found to be in 'like-new' condition!
- Unlike high-pressure water blasting, the use of RYDLYME resulted in less than 0.2% of the tubes failing eddy current probe testing.
- By partnering with the U.S. Navy and Apex Engineering Products Corporation, Q.E.D. has implemented a preventative maintenance program resulting in significant savings to the U.S. government and enhanced operational readiness of the systems and equipment that support our nation's war-fighters.