International Activities

The United States and its allies are engaging in a multi-faceted strategy of cooperation as they battle corrosion and material degradation on the world's aging fleet of aircraft, ships, submarines, and ground vehicles. Officials from the Department of Defense (DoD) Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office and the Ministries of Defense in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany are collaborating closely to share best practices and corrosion cost data, while also establishing international working groups. These collaborative activities are being conducted under international data exchange agreements between the U.S. DoD and each partner nation.

In light of departmental reorganizations, budget cuts, personnel reductions, and a pressing need to enhance the performance of corrosion prevention solutions on aging weapon systems fleets and military infrastructure, the DoD Corrosion Office and its counterparts across the globe are building upon a long history of collaboration to seek new solutions and best practices.

The DoD Corrosion Office and Corrosion Prevention Integrated Product Team is working with military corrosion experts from the Philippines, India, Italy, Spain, and New Zealand in order to formalize agreements with these five allied nations in the near future.

Australia

Since 2006, officials from the DoD Corrosion Office have met with their counterparts in the Australian Ministry of Defense to discuss progress and successes under technology development projects co-sponsored by the Corrosion Office and Naval Aviation Systems Command, and other projects co-sponsored by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

The collaboration between the United States and Australia occurs under a Data Exchange Agreement formalized on January 12, 2010, when DoD Corrosion Office and Australian government officials amended a 1962 agreement between both countries to exchange data on the development of military weapons. These collaborative projects have investigated repair processes using cold spray technology, and non-destructive testing equipment to inspect guy wires.

The agreement also allows for the pursuit of cooperative efforts between the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation and Australian universities related to the use of additive manufacturing in the realm of corrosion prevention and materials sustainment. Under the agreement, the University of Akron has engaged in technical information exchanges with Australia’s Curtin University and Monash University regarding the use of tropical outdoor exposure testing sites or tropical environmental testing. DoD Corrosion Office experts regularly present papers at the Australasian Corrosion Conference to further the technology exchanges between both countries.

Canada

The collaboration between the United States and Canada occurs under a Data Exchange Agreement formalized on October 26, 2012. The seeds for an agreement between the United States and Canada were planted on August 18, 2011, when officials from the DoD Corrosion Office and Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) met at a technical meeting organized by corrosion researchers from NACE International.

Since 2012, the U.S. DoD and Canadian DND have worked together to develop a portable corrosion demonstration kiosk for education and outreach. The portable kiosk can demonstrate and explain basics of corrosion inception, inspection, and treatment at conferences, symposia, and schools across Canada. The partner countries have also investigated the potential use of cold weather testing under unique wind and other environmental conditions.

United Kingdom

The exchange between the United States and United Kingdom occurs under a Data Exchange Agreement formalized on June 2013. Since 2013, the DoD Corrosion Office and the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s Office of Defence, Science, and Technology Laboratory have engaged in successful technology insertion programs, including one devoted to outdoor tropical environmental testing.

Corrosion prevention experts from both countries participated in the 2013 NATO Corrosion Prevention and Control Workshop, in which both presented briefings related to military corrosion prevention and control strategies and training. Under the agreement, both countries are committed to sharing technical data associated with specific corrosion prevention and control technologies, controlled approaches to common systems and facilities, test methods and results, and policies and strategies associated with research and development.

France

The collaboration between the United States and France occurs under a Data Exchange Agreement formalized on August 7, 2013. This is a corrosion-specific agreement with broad scope to include all military services, a commitment in line with the congressional definition of corrosion. Important aspects of the collaboration between the French Ministry of Defense (MOD) and the U.S. DoD include face-to-face meetings twice annually, to include visits to defense facilities of interest in both countries, and a focus on ship-related and aviation corrosion issues pertaining to the commonality of problems between nations.

Under the agreement, officials from the U.S. DoD and French MOD are discussing environmentally compliant coatings and treatments; performance prediction (accelerated testing), qualification, and validation; and emerging corrosion mitigation technologies.

In 2015, visits by French MOD officials to Naval Air Systems Command (Patuxent River, Maryland) and the Air Force Research Lab (Dayton, Ohio), feature collaboration related to non-skid coatings; corrosion control on navy ships; the coefficient of friction tester; antifouling coatings for propellers; and prospects for standardization.

Corrosion prevention experts from both countries participated in the 2013 NATO Corrosion Prevention and Control Workshop, in which both presented briefings related to military corrosion prevention and control strategies and training.

Germany

The collaboration between the United States and Germany occurs under a Data Exchange Agreement formalized on September 13, 2011, between the DoD Corrosion Office and the Bundeswehr Research Institute for Materials, Fuels, and Lubricants (WiWeb). This international cooperation exists under the framework of a Data Exchange Agreement between the U.S. Navy and the German Bundeswehr, which was signed in 1992.

Efforts are underway to revise and renew the current data exchange agreement between the DoD Corrosion Office and the Bundeswehr. Since 2011, the DoD Corrosion Office and the Bundeswehr have engaged in several information exchanges, many of which have related to the issue of finding replacements for chromium VI in military weapon systems. The two countries have also carried out extensive information sharing related to the insertion of new technologies on equipment and infrastructure. In addition, they have cooperated with corrosion science experts to develop university-level courses and standardized testing material.

The DoD Corrosion Office and the Bundeswehr co-hosted the 2013 NATO Corrosion Prevention and Control Workshop in Oberammergau, Germany, in which both presented briefings related to military corrosion prevention and control strategies and training. Through their collaboration, both countries are committed to sharing technical data associated with specific corrosion prevention and control technologies, controlled approaches to common systems and facilities, test methods and results, and policies and strategies associated with research and development.