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Author Topic: was tile used during the war?  (Read 4819 times)
drew
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« on: May 26, 2015, 09:03:31 PM »

The Lionfish is closed for a couple of weeks because the brow got bent during a windy storm. One end of the brow is pinned to a destroyer, the other end has wheels that rest on the Lionfish. The winds caused the brow to get jammed on the Lionfish, and the weld on the pin got partially pulled apart.

The boat is scheduled to be closed only 2 days a year, so the boat being closed for a while due to the brow damage was an opportunity to do something that would take some time. I chose to deal with the tile floor in the crews berthing compartment. The tile was very brittle, and more and more of it was breaking. Pulling up the tile was relatively quick an easy. But underneath I found a lot of leveling compound. And where the leveling compound pulled off the floor, I could see rust. The floor was rusting underneath the leveling compound. I stupidly decided to "fix" this, pull up the leveling compound, and paint the floor with rust inhibiting paint. Like my home repair jobs, I underestimated the work involved.

Getting up the leveling compound was a nasty job, eventually someone lent me a electric chisel thingy. This took about 10 hours. The compound came up in small chunks, leaving a thin layer on the metal. Another person lent me a deck crawler (deck growler)? Never heard of the thing before. It turned an impossible job into just a real sucky job. Another 8 hours. Got two coats of iron oxide primer down. And a top coat of green to protect the primer. I am happy at this point because hopefully the progression is slowed. But due to the welds between sections and a few plates (maybe to remove the batterries?) the floor is very uneven.

During this maintenance saga a surface ship vet wandered by told me that during the war the boat would not have been tiled. Because tile could be flammable. And also make emergency maintenance more difficult.
Did the boats have tile?
Do your boats have tile over leveling compound?
Any problems with rust on the floor?

Now I need to think about what to do next. The host of the Lionfish (Battle ship cove) is unlikely to hire someone to tile the boat. But if someone wanted to tile, they would again have to deal with the uneven floor. Maybe these days 1/4 underlayment would be used instead of leveling compound. But the underlayment would have to be glued to the metal? Maybe the adhesive wouldn't like the paint I just lovingly applied. Some wood floors can float, I think the sections snap together. I haven't heard of underlayment that snaps together.


Thanx,
Drew


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Evil Tracey of Torsk
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 08:07:45 AM »

It is my impression that some of the tile contained asbestos.
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pekelney
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2015, 10:59:28 PM »

Drew,

Pampanito, and as far as I know, all the fleet boats has the white hex tiles in the heads.  These are ceramic tiles that I do not think would have had asbestos.  I have no idea what was in the underlayment that was used to cover the welds and slope into the drains.

See the notes in the war time drawing:
http://maritime.org/tech/drawings/platform-deck-covering-basic490319alt6_5400-04-0153.jpg

rich
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 11:03:18 PM by pekelney » Logged
Lance Dean
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2015, 04:28:38 PM »

It's my understanding the floor was tile during the war. I understood it to be for noise deadening. Either way, it would have been asbestos tile so doubt it would be flammable. It would be near impossible to match today. I think Tom at the Drum knows about the floor tiles.
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pekelney
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 11:19:43 AM »

Lance,

The standard white hex floor tiles were still available a few years ago when we needed some to fix our 1906 house.  It is an enduring design.

A quick look on the web indicates that the tiles themselves are not likely to have significant asbestos.  However, there is no way to tell if the underlayment and grout had it without testing.

Did you mean the linoleum that is in other areas of the boat when discussing sound dampening?  The tiles would have been great for water resistance, underlayment for drainage slope, but not for sound.  The linoleum was better for sound than the tile.  The engine rooms, CT, etc had removable felt mats on the steel diamond plate for sound dampening.

Pre-1949 sheet linoleum does not usually have significant amounts of asbestos, although from 1900 on there were linoleum products with asbestos.  From 1949-1970s it was common.  The only way to tell is to test.  All the linoleum flooring on Pampanito was replaced with modern (probably vinyl) non-asbestos product during the early 1990s.  I do not think they tested.

So far on Pampanito, some lagging in the pump room, engine room and galley have been tested and where negative for asbestos.  The places we have not tested that are good candidates the oven insulation and the fresh water stills.  Both are protected from disturbance by steel.  There may be small amounts in the water heater electrical boxes, and misc. motor controllers so I would be careful not disturb them.  High temperature gaskets often used it, but I think of these as for steam plants.  I do not know if they were used for the mostly low temperature applications on the submarine.  We have not tested the few that have been replaced.

While on the hazmat digression, two years ago we did a lot of testing for lead paint on the exterior hull and did not find any.  It was likely in the coatings on the outside of the hull from the war, and from the maintenance done in the early 1980s.  However, over the multiple drydockings and basic maintenance pretty much everything exterior must have been to bare steel at some point.  When we remove equipment we use the swab tests to check underneath.  Inside the hull there have only been a few hotspots, but it mostly does not have lead even where it is clearly from WW II.  A couple of pieces of equipment recovered from other ships had lead paint.  We recently had to send some Bofors seats that came from one of the battleships to a local shipyard to be blasted because they had lead (they donated.)  We keep the lead swabs around and check whenever we go to a new area, but we seem to be pretty lucky on the lead issue.

So far on Pampanito only depth gauges have been found positive for radium/radioactivity.  They had radium, but at the distance of their glass lens were well below the level for un-monitored public exposure.  So as long as we do not open them and disturb the dials, needles, etc. we are OK.  I should also mention that it is really important not to block the ventilation holes.  If radium gauges are totally sealed they may eventually become hot enough to be a hazard.  This happened with some gauges at NHHC that were eventually destroyed.  We have had two broad radiologic surveys donated where properly equipped experts used calibrated equipment to spot check many of the gauges and most (maybe all) of the sound powered phones.  They did not find anything outside the depth gauges.  I know that other ships have the glow in the dark buttons on the sound powered phones and on some non-depth gauges.  Our clinometers are replicas, but the drawings for these call for radium paint.

Have any of the WW II boats actually verified by testing asbestos on them?  If so, where?  Same for lead paint based on testing, esp. interior vs. exterior?

rich
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 11:36:45 AM by pekelney » Logged
Lance Dean
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2015, 11:42:20 AM »

Rich, yes I had the linoleum tile on the brain when I made my response. 

I have no idea about the asbestos testing or lead testing.  It's one of those "better not even find out" things every time I've heard it brought up, submarine related and not.  It's always just assumed. Good thoughts for pondering though.
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drew
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2015, 09:44:38 PM »

Besides being used in high temperature situations (insulation, gaskets), asbestos was added to materials to make them more flexible. Which is why it may be found in tile or tile adhesive.
The fleet sub electrical manual describes SHFL heat/flame resistant cable. This wonderful stuff has two layers of felted asbestos covered in a lead sheath. A hazmat cocktail.

The Lionfish isn't a true vintage WWII boat because the Navy used her through the 1960s. It has modern duplex 3 prong outlets as well as the navy electrical connectors.
When I met the boat the after battery was empty, no bunks. And the floor was a collection of different tile styles/colors that didn't match the rest of the boat. So I have no idea what it looked like in 1944.

If dealing with floor material that contains asbestos, I think covering over the floor is the low cost option. The covering prevents the asbestos containing material from getting disturbed, so the fibers can't escape and get airborne.

Once I found a box shaped hunk of insulation fell off the air ducts onto the floor in the AER. I relaxed after I realized it was just cork that was painted white.
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Evil Tracey of Torsk
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2015, 08:39:06 AM »

Rich is correct that white hex ceramic tile is a classic design that is always available.

TORSK's ceramic tile in the heads and kitchen is standard square ceramic tile.
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Darrin
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2015, 02:01:45 AM »

On Torsk we have Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) in the berthing areas, torpedo rooms, mess deck, and all the way through the command area.. Quick rule of thumb regarding VCT if the tiles are 9"X9" they tend to contain asbestos and require special clean up and disposal and one thing that people forget is the fact that the mastic (glue) also contained asbestos in it well into the 70s and I have seen it found in some flooring jobs done in the 80's and again that is also a special clean up and disposal.. Biggest thing is when removing the tile do NOT grind on it without special equipment on and positive air flow away from the area being cleaned..

Be advised IF the folks from the EPA show up and find it to be asbestos and you are not wearing all appropriate gear and have someone licensed to remove it there is a large possibility of a fine.

IMHO the best way to deal with it is once the metal repair has been done to the deck use a good floor leveler and then lay new tiles right on top of the old tile so that it "encapsulates" the asbestos if there is any there.

Darrin
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Paul Farace
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 12:13:56 AM »

It is probably too late to be of any help... but here goes...

Fleet subs in WWII NEVER USED the 9x9 inch tiles!!! Either the asphalt/asbestos or the newer vinyl tiles. The US NAVY replaced the original linoleum sheet floor covering in the late 1950s and early 60s with 9x9 asphalt asbestos tiles because they wore better than linoleum. Look at the writing desks on your battery volt meters, likely you'll see 12x12-in. pieces of your original dark hunter green linoleum glued there as a writing surface!

We replaced our 1962 tiles with 1988 "safe" tiles, but hope to replace them soon with either linoleum or sheet rubber that looks like it but lasts longer (Pampanito, Silversides, and Cobia have done this).
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Darrin
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 11:00:08 AM »

Thanks for the info Paul!!!

And your information is never too late, btw that information regarding the dark hunter green tile explains a few pieces I found in the FTR on Torsk a number of years ago and I couldn't figure out when it was installed.

When you remove your tile please take the time and have the mastic checked for asbestos because while it was not supposed to be used after the late 70s it was used well into the 80's until all of the stock ran out.

Again thanks for the information Paul Smiley
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