AFFF Station
Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Johnathan Sarmiento checks off steps
on the Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) checklist. U.S. Navy
photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Lowell Whitman

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) is used to fight fuel fires onboard Navy ships. Because of the highly corrosive nature of AFFF, special coatings must be used in areas where the chemical residues may accumulate. Coatings described in this section are designed for application on AFFF station decks and foundations, including under AFFF proportioning units and inside the coaming and bilge drain wells.

Typical Coatings Used

Coatings for AFFF decks that are specified in NAVSEA Standard Item (NSI) 009-32 are qualified to MIL-PRF-32171, Type IV. Most currently qualified coatings are either filled epoxy or polyurethane based materials, which exhibit high durability and high chemical resistance.

Surface Preparation

To ensure coating adhesion, special attention should be paid to the surface preparation in accordance with NSI 009-32. Surfaces should be prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP 11, Power Tool Cleaning to Bare Metal.

Depot Repairs

NSI 009-32 is the governing document for preservation requirements. Permitted coatings are specified in Table 3. All interior compartment coating system preservation efforts must be accomplished in accordance with NSI 009-32.

Ship’s Force Repairs

Ship’s force personnel are responsible for maintenance of AFFF station decks and foundation coating systems until repair activity maintenance is scheduled. Naval Ships Technical Manual: Chapter 631 (NSTM 631), Preservation of Ships in Service – General Tables 631-1-3 and 631-1-4 and Section 631- provide requirements, instructions, and guidance for surface preparation and coating application.

New Construction Installation

New construction ships are painted in accordance with the ship build specification for that class of ship.