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Rust is a $6B problem for the Navy, cruise ships and more (www.latimes.com)
17 points by smacktoward 5 months ago | hide | past | web | 26 comments | favorite

I don't get the point of this article.

I think most people know what rust is, probably from other things than your shower head, which is a weird association as most people have plastic shower heads nowadays.

And yes, metal rusts, we've known that for millennia. It's a problem for everyone, including the navy and if you have a lot of metal, it gets expensive. This is no surprise and I think organisations like the navy have rust prevention factored in in the cost of maintenance?

Exactly what point is the author trying to make?

It's an interesting little piece on how something as common as rust, can be such a big and expensive problem for a certain industry. This article would probably interest people the same way a show like Dirty Jobs would.

Part of the point of the article was to highlight the book about rust mentioned inside. It sounds like an interesting book. Many things that disappear from our curiosity are fascinating when someone does a deep dive.

Not sure how Golang will fix this, so yes, pretty pointless indeed!

Maybe it just doesn't rain enough in California for rust to be enough of a problem that people become especially familiar with it.

The purpose of this article is to generate fear.

It could be a company that is trying to influence decision-makers to purchase their rust-proofing solution, it could be a political arm hoping to influence voters, or it could be a geo-political enemy hoping to sow distrust in the American military.

But ultimately, since the article does nothing but waffle between all the different ways that rust can mess with things, it's really just here to make you scared.

There is a simpler explanation: rust is a real problem, but the author couldn't find a good way to convey that to a general LA Times audience.

I would not expect to see articles about that kind of rust on hacker news. That was a nice chuckle.

Except they're talking about actual corrosion, where the rust on your showerhead is more likely to be a byproduct of biological action.

I am really curious to know how rust is a byproduct of biological action, could you elaborate?


It may a different thing for people with municipal water; out here in the sticks everyone is on wells and this stuff keeps our white laundry brown and leaves lovely patterns on the insides of pipes.

Barnacles are far more interesting than rust. Not least because they are hermaphrodites, that also have the longest penises of any species.

Barnacles (and algal slime and so on) create significant hydrodynamic drag and damage paint, leading to rust also. Toxic chemicals are added to hull paint in order to repel them, but it is of limited efficacy and very bad for the environment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnacle https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/27/science/barnacles-ships-c...

I have often mused on the possibility of a small barnacle cleaning robot. Something the clamped and crawled with an electromagnet, a crushing/scraping barnacle doom. A number of systems out there, but none seem to have cracked the problem.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.5772/62060 https://web.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Available/E-project-12141...

Would electrifying hull, or making some high frequency electric zaps to the hull make these barnacles to fall off/not to attach? (just thinking out loud, it is probably have been tried given how common this problem is...)

When you say electrifying, what are the places there is a potential across? Because salt water is an excellent conductor.

I have wondered whether a microwave would do the trick. Basically cooking the algae. The trick is then to access all the books and crannies, e.g. near the propeller. Unfortunately it probably wouldn't remove any barnacle polymer cement or other buildup, like the awful tube worms, you'd still need mechanical scrubbing.

With electrical techniques you also have to avoid magnetising the hull, which on navy vessels has been carefully degaussed.

Thank you. I totally forgot about degaussed hulls...

Is this really the level of reading skills the LA Times is targeting: "a dry dock, a special facility with high walls where ships are lifted out of the water"?

This seems elitist for no reason. I wouldn't classify the knowledge of the functionality of a dry dock as "reading skills". Personally, I knew what a dry dock was in a general sense, but appreciated the visual to refresh/corroborate my understanding of the exact function.

I specifically found the description not very helpful. A facility with high walls? Like a warehouse? A barn? A factory?

Huge chunks of their readership -- like the HN crowd currently looking at this article -- may not live anywhere near water and/or may not know anything about boats, docks, and shipbuilding.

Good journalism provides basic context.

Are they using the borrow checker properly? Oh wait, never mind.

They only have a problem with rust because of the C.

(excuse me, I'll see myself out. Couldn't help it, my initial reaction was "how can Rust possibly create problems for the navy???")

For topside steel, the Navy uses needle guns to keep things from going out of control [0]. You have to prime over it the same day or you get the privilege of doing it all over again!

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKJmI7R9DgM

Saw title, came to make a joke about Rust programming language, remembered that HN doesn't appreciate jokes.

We appreciate funny jokes. The act of merely spotting a basic homonym or pun, something surely everyone did here, isn't all that funny, though.

Well it only takes 4 or so downvotes to hide the comment, it doesn't mean everyone is stuck up :)

This just in: Rust team writes "Jelly" library to encourage adoption by Navy for dev projects.

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