HMS Alliance – The Future is Orange!

Written by Bill Sainsbury on Thursday, 18 October 2012. Posted in Blog

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The future is orange but not for very long!  Now that most of Alliance has been blasted back to bare metal the predominant colour is orange as the steel quickly oxidises. However the blasting contractors are quickly following up their work with high pressure water and grit with a holding coat of red primer. The first image shows how dramatic a change the blasting can bring, this is the forward tip of the ballast keel showing the original asdic transducer housed behind the grills – this was an area where we feared the corrosion would be very bad but as has often been the case with the blasting Alliance is in better shape than we expected.  pigiron. compressed

Something no-one on the project anticipated was the sheer quantity of pig iron ballast that was installed in the keel and in the bottom the ballast tanks. The ballast is predominantly made up of hundreds of “Toblerone” shaped iron blocks which were carefully placed in interlocking forms inside the tanks and then strapped in place with strips of steel. They all have to come out if we are to preserve the spaces they occupy. Given that they are all fused together this has to be done with a jack hammer. It’s the short straw job on every shift for the guys working on the boat! We don’t intend to put any of it back so if anyone has any clever ideas about what to do with 50 tons of iron Toblerones let know!

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About the Author

Bill Sainsbury

Bill is the Marketing, PR & Events Manager at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum

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