Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

Debond Detector Improvements

A modified Special Hull Treatment debond detector developed for new VCS construction will reduce repair costs for in-service submarines. (NMC photo)


This Navy ManTech Rapid Response project is enhancing the tool specifically for shipyard use to increase durability and simplify the controls, among other recommendations. An Integrated Project Team consisting of PMS 392T, NSWCCD-Ship Systems Engineering Station, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF), Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY), Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and IMF, and NMC was formed to provide enhancements to make the tool more rigorous and adaptable for shipyard use.


An impulse hammer tool used during the construction of Virginia class submarines (VCS) is being modified to meet shipyard needs for in-service VCS and Seawolf class submarines.

The Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) recently developed an impulse hammer device that General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) is using to detect debonded areas of special hull treatment (SHT) applied to VCS during construction. The Strategic and Attack Submarines Program Office (PMS 392T) determined that the technology could also be used to detect debonded SHT material during maintenance on in-service submarines as well.

The current process used to detect debonds is highly subjective, which leads to costly false positives. The new debond detector technology eliminates subjectivity from the detection process, reduces the labor-hours required for detection, and will substantially reduce costs associated with the repair of SHT during maintenance availabilities.


Transferring the technology from the earlier ManTech project (S2363) to in-service submarines will improve the accuracy and consistency of debond inspections as well as reduce repair costs and the level of training required for inspectors.


Once the project-developed enhancements are incorporated into the design, NMC will provide two units to NAVSEA for final proofing at Navy shipyards in 2015. PNSY will purchase four units for implementation in early 2015 for use in upcoming maintenance availabilities.




Charles Stewart
PMS 392T


Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
PMS 392 - Strategic/Attack Submarines
Rentz Technology Systems
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