The global cost of corrosion is high, with NACE International estimating it to be some $2.5 trillion annually.


This worldwide impact is spread across various sectors, including the defence industry.

With large numbers of aircraft, vehicles, ships, equipment and facilities to manage, the defence industry is at risk of losing valuable assets on a regular basis due to corrosion.

In 2012, the HMS Astute, one of a new fleet seven of hunter-killer submarines, experienced problems during extensive sea trials.

Later, in a leaked confidential memo, the Ministry of Defence confirmed that corrosion had caused severe problems to the fleet, as a result of cost-cutting of quality control. The fleet of seven submarines cost a total of £9.75 billion. From 2013 to 2107, the European Defence Agency (EDA) ran a Corrosion Control for Navy Ships project, with the aim of testing and identifying solutions for corrosion protection and control.

Corrosion is a threat to operational availability and running costs of navy ships; while at the same time, it makes more economic sense for the navy to try and extend its current repair intervals.

Consequently, there is pressure to find solutions to ensuring the efficient maintenance and running of navy ships.


Army Ground Vehicles Count the Cost

A US report into the annual cost of corrosion for army ground vehicles revealed that this amounted to between $9 billion and $20 billion annually.

The highest proportion of this was depot maintenance costs.

Unprotected vehicles and military equipment are prone to deterioration, especially outdoors.

Here the effects of water intrusion and atmospheric effects are most keenly felt.

Not only is this an economic expense to the defence industry both the UK and worldwide, but it also poses a threat to readiness for combat.

Side view of a 155mm howitzer in a fortified firing position

Side view of a 155mm howitzer in a fortified firing position

For example, the US army has reported a large number of failures of howitzer guns due to corrosion; with several missions having to be aborted due to corrosion on 155mm medium towed howitzers.


The US army also records that 39% of unscheduled howitzer maintenance is due to corrosion.


Corrosion reduces the readiness of essential armed forces equipment and can add significantly to vehicle maintenance costs.


Corrosion Solutions for the Defence Industry


With the debilitating effects of corrosion so costly, in terms of both readiness and money, it makes sense for the defence industry to look at methods to protect its equipment, ships, submarines and vehicles from corrosion.

One traditional method is the use of protective covers, which must be at least semi-permeable to offset heat and moisture naturally.

However, another means of strengthening protection against corrosion is to protect the insides of equipment and vehicles.

This is the benefit of Vaporol, a uniquely formulated preservative, which offers high-level protection against corrosion and is ideal for complex mechanical structures.

It is also highly effective and time-efficient in the application, since it is compatible with most lubricants, and with petrol, diesel and fuel oils.

This allows equipment treated with Vaporol to be ready for instant use.

This is a low-cost corrosion protection solution for the defence industry. It cuts down on the need for labour, and it reduces the need for maintenance and frequency of reapplication.

Ultimately, it helps protect the essential assets of the defence industry.

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