USS Yorktown Island Coating Renewal

The Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum has embarked on significant repairs and
rehabilitation to the USS Yorktown to maintain and preserve the vessel for future generations. Patriots Point, where the World War II ship is docked, is one of the largest tourist attractions in the state, drawing approximately 750,000 visitors each year. The exterior of the ship had noticeable blemishes on the surface coatings and areas had begun to show significant deterioration to the super structure.

S&ME was asked to perform an evaluation of the existing coatings to determine why there was a failure in past re-coat applications. Previous testing performed by S&ME on the USS Yorktown had revealed significant levels of lead in the existing coatings, which had been applied multiple times since the ship’s construction in 1943. The assessment and testing performed on the exterior of the ship revealed that previous coatings did not have adequate adhesion due to the lack of surface preparation, and the thickness of the existing coatings were causing inter-coating breakdown. The study recommended that all the existing coatings 20 to 30 millimeters thick would require removal prior to a new application. The challenges presented by the Yorktown were to remove its lead coatings in the midst of a high number of tourists while it was immovable from its sensitive marine environment.

To meet these challenges, S&ME designed a complete negative pressure containment with air filtration and blast media recycling requirements to keep the emissions from the work area at zero. With attention to detail and a rarely-used remediation design to bring the Yorktown back to full glory, S&ME saluted a hero.

We are proud to have received an ACEC Engineering Excellence Award for this project.