By Don Rochon, NAVFAC Headquarters Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Daniel Zarate, a chemist with Naval Facilities Engineering Command's (NAVFAC) Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC) in Port Hueneme, California, was honored at the Pentagon by the assistant secretary of the Navy (ASN) for research, development and acquisition as one of the Navy's top scientists, June 12.
Zarate successfully developed, validated and transitioned the next generation of Polysulfide Modified Novolac Epoxy (PMNE) coating for use in petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL) fuels tanks. The new coating successfully resolved environmental and operational risks associated with leaks caused by corrosion, including the elimination of volatile organic compounds in the coating.
"This innovation will save the government millions of dollars in tank maintenance, repair, and replacement costs," said EXWC Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Edelson. "The new coating increases operational availability and reduces the risk of fuel leaking into the environment."
Zarate was among 11 extraordinary scientists and engineers who were recognized at this year's ASN (RDA) Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award ceremony.
In addition to saving maintenance costs for the Navy, the new coating will reduce the operational down time for large POL fuel tanks. Corrosion is a perennial problem in maintaining facilities infrastructure, especially those with steel components. Massive POL fuel tanks present a difficult challenge due to their sheer volume. Industrial coatings have been used to mitigate corrosion problems, but current systems have a high volatile organic compounds (VOC) content, which impacts local ozone levels and contributes to greenhouse gas effects.
Zarate's new PMNE coating solves this problem. The new coating significantly improves performance while reducing lifecycle cost by up to 50%.
Now living in Oxnard, California, Zarate originally hails from Visalia, California.