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DoD Corrosion Office, SSPC Sponsor New STEM Kiosks at Carnegie Science Center

May 25, 2016

Washington, D.C. - Three new Science Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) kiosks sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD) Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office are now on view at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings played a vital role as the technical subject matter experts and acted as liaisons on the development of the display.

An interactive projection mapping system of the USS Requin, a sample materials rack simulating real-time environmental testing, and a virtual tour of Pittsburgh offer visitors a glimpse of the natural phenomena underlying the degradation of facilities and infrastructure familiar to all urban dwellers, as well as military systems operating worldwide. 

An interactive kiosk connects viewers to the Cold War-era USS Requin submarine moored outside the Center.

When visitors touch a digital display, windows open, depicting how elements of the submarine succumb to corrosion. 

“Military aircraft, ships, and vehicles operate in myriad environments and are always susceptible to corrosion,” said Daniel J. Dunmire, director of the DoD Corrosion Office. “This kiosk allows anyone to appreciate what we’re up against as we fight to preserve our aging military fleets around the globe.”

The “City Tour” kiosk allows guests to see Pittsburgh through the sharp eyes of a corrosion engineer.   Visitors can see the Duquesne Incline, Heinz Field (the Pittsburgh Steelers’ home), the Fort Pitt Tunnel, and other popular tourist destinations, while getting an inside look at how the environment degrades the city’s architectural treasures. 

“Pittsburgh’s steel heritage also means that it was at the forefront of corrosion control technology," said Bill Worms, Executive Director of SSPC. "As Pittsburghers, we’re aware of some of our acute infrastructure needs, and this exhibit will shed some light onto why preventing corrosion is important and how it can affect our daily lives.” 

A corrosion couponrack -- placed outside the science center near a window -- shows viewers how experts conduct testing to evaluate how materials weather the environment.  How do Pittsburgh’s snow, rain, air, and sun affect materials, for example?  Visitors also see how corrosion might affect their home or personal car, lending an appreciation of why such testing is vital when DoD builds new weapon systems and preserves older ones.  (In the future, a video-linked duplicate rack at Miami’s Frost Science Center will allow two very different environments to be compared.)

"The best exhibitions are those that do not remain the same as they were on opening day,” said Dennis Bateman, Carnegie Science Center director of Exhibits & Theaters.  “So we were very pleased to accept the offer of the DoD to add a slate of new interactives for our guests. The linkages with our own USS Requin submarine, the water-based theme of our "H2Oh!" gallery, and some notable Pittsburgh architectural icons take these 'science of corrosion' exhibits from the abstract to the science in our guests' daily lives, in and around the region,” Bateman added.

In addition to DoD and SSPC, AZZ Galvanizing Services, KTA-Tator, Inc., and Sauereisen, Inc. provided key support in making the display possible. 

About the DoD Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight

The Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight is responsible for conducting the DoD’s Corrosion Prevention and Mitigation Program. DoD acquires, operates, and maintains a vast array of physical assets – including military weapons systems and infrastructure. The DoD Corrosion Office develops corrosion prevention and control strategies for the military and oversees their implementation. Combating corrosion effectively yields several major benefits to national defense. DoD estimates that the corrosion of military equipment costs the Army, Navy, and Air Force more than $20.0 billion per year.  Visit www.CorrDefense.org and www.facebook.com/corrdefense for more information. 

About SSPC

SSPC is internationally recognized as the leading source of information, training, and certification on surface preparation, coating selection, coating application, environmental regulations, and health and safety issues in the field of protective coatings. Our surface preparation and coatings standards have been governing the application of coatings worldwide since 1950 when the organization was founded as the Steel Structures Painting Council (SSPC). Originally part of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, SSPC is dedicated to the use of high-performance industrial coatings for the protection and preservation of concrete, steel and other industrial and marine surfaces. From an initial core of fundamental coatings training courses developed in the early 1990’s to the comprehensive list of technical certifications offered today, over 40,000 industry professionals have used SSPC to expand their coatings knowledge. For more information about SSPC, visit www.SSPC.org