Life of Ship Flexhose
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-026
Topic Title: Life of Ship Flexhose
Proposal No.: N131-026-0113
35 Hartwell Avenue
Lexington, Massachusetts 02421-3102
Contact: Mildred Hastbacka
Phone: (781) 879-1292
Web Site:
Abstract: To develop concepts for affordable flexhoses that meet the Navy military specification requirements for MIL-H-24135B and that last the average life of a ship (40 years), Phase I will (a) apply a "useful lifetime estimation" experimental method to characterize existing MIL-H-24135B hose compounds; (b) design candidate new compounds formulated to be cost-comparable and performance-improved relative to current compounds; (c) validate cost/performance of new compounds via testing of key properties, e.g, compression set, abrasion, and UV/sunlight weatherability. The "useful lifetime estimation" method has been previously successfully applied to EPDM and nitrile rubber (NBR) motor mounts. The candidate new compounds are based on recent publications presenting advances in blends of EPDM and nitrile, as well as blends of NBR and HNBR (hydrogenated nitrile rubber).
Benefits: Matching the service life of Navy flexhoses to the life of the ship (40 years) would eliminate the time and expense of flexhose replacement. Currently, this replacement maintenance activity occurs as much as six times over the life of a ship. In the commercial sector, the need for increased service life and reliability of the commercial counterparts of MIL-H-24135B has prompted new technology in the area of early failure detection. Failure avoidance, delivered in the form of hose built for extended lifetime as is the object of this Phase I, would be commercially desirable, particularly if comparable in cost to conventional hose.