Apex Engineering Products Corporation

RYDLYME gains approval of U.S. Navy and USS ENTERPRISE case study


Courtesy of Apex Engineering Products Corporation

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.

RYDLYME approach

  • 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.

RYDLYME results

  • 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.

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