PPG Industries said the topsides of the USS Freedom, lead ship of the U.S Navy's littoral combat ships (LCS), have been repainted using AMERCOAT(R) 240 edge-retention epoxy and PSX(R) 700SG epoxy-polysiloxane coatings by PPG's protective and marine coatings (PMC) business.
Commissioned in 2008, the USS Freedom went to dry dock in January 2013 to remove the existing coatings system because that system had failed. Lockheed Martin, builder of the USS Freedom, naval contractor YYK Enterprises, Inc., National City, Calif., and the U.S. Navy specified a two-coat system by PPG incorporating one coat of Amercoat 240 edge-retention epoxy from the water line to the rail and a finish coat of PSX 700SG coating from the water line to the topside interface to replace the existing coatings system.
PSX 700SG coating is a semi-gloss version of the patented PSX 700 epoxy-polysiloxane product, which was engineered to meet U.S. government marine coating requirements. PSX 700SG coating is more resistant to fading and color shifting than the original silicon-alkyd-based coating and easier to clean.
Using the Amercoat 240 epoxy and PSX 700SG coating system, the USS Freedom became the first naval warship since the 1960s to incorporate the U.S. Navy Federal Standard Colors for camouflage, featuring black, haze gray, light gray and ocean gray. Cmdr. Patrick Thien, commanding officer of one of the USS Freedom's two active crews, said, "I want my ship to look like a warship. If we're going to paint it, we might as well go all the way."
Because the USS Freedom is an active warship, PPG and YYK Enterprises had to meet accelerated deadlines for supply and painting. Amercoat 240 epoxy and four colors of PSX 700SG coating were manufactured in record time and shipped from PPG's Little Rock, Ark., facility to YYK's loading dock in National City within 72 hours. Priming and painting began immediately, and the ship was returned to service in less than six weeks.
PSX 700SG coating is a color-stable LSA (low solar-absorbing), low-VOC (volatile organic compound) coating with unlimited recoatability for easier touch-up and maintenance. It contains no isocyanates and offers superior abrasion resistance, wide cure temperature flexibility and unique surface tension to minimize rust and dirt streaking.
PSX 700SG coating is approved on the U.S. Navy Qualified Product List (QPL) for topside and freeboard applications and also complies with U.S. Department of Defense MIL-PRF-24635E, Type V (high-durability), Type VI (high-durability, low-VOC), Class 2 (semi-gloss), Grade B (low solar-absorbing) specifications.