MAPC partners with Project Liberty Ship to Restore Historic Pier

We have always felt inspired and strongly connected to the historical shipbuilding site on which our facility currently stands. MAPC, with a mission to provide the latest technology to the Navy fleet, is proud to partner with Project Liberty Ship in bringing the SS. John W. Brown to our pier! See joint Press Release below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baltimore, Dec. 30 – Project Liberty Ship Inc., owner and operator of the World War II museum ship SS JOHN W. BROWN, and Maritime Applied Physics Corp. (MAPC) today announced an $18 million plan to revitalize a portion of the former Bethlehem Steel Fairfield Shipyard and provide a home base for the ship’s education and cruise activities as well as support for MAPC’s growing shipbuilding and maritime technology operations.

The proposal would utilize federal and state funding, augmented by corporate and individual donations, to rebuild a fitting-out pier at the former yard in South Baltimore. The pier would be owned and administered by a non-profit entity.

Project Liberty Ship (PLS) is a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to the preservation and continued operation of the JOHN W. BROWN as a memorial to the vital wartime role of the U.S. Merchant Marine, U.S. Navy Armed Guard, and American shipbuilding personnel, three groups instrumental to victory in World War II as well as world-wide sealift operations in support of U.S. national security interests ever since. Its aim is to honor the legacy of all veterans.

The ship, a familiar sight on Baltimore’s Canton waterfront since it returned to the city in 1988, was launched at the Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyard on Labor Day in 1942. Since restoration began, it has sailed more than 25,000 miles, visiting 29 North American ports with its trademark “living history” cruises that feature 1940s-era entertainment and fly-bys from vintage aircraft.

The JOHN W. BROWN is one of only two operating Liberty Ships remaining out of a total of 2,710 built nationwide during WWII. Converted during the war to a partial troop transport, the vessel is the only remaining troop transport which landed combat forces on an invasion beach. Named after a shipbuilding labor leader, it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which designates sites and objects worthy of preservation in America.

MAPC designs and builds advanced technology systems and vessels for the Defense Department, as well as commercial products, such as the new Baltimore water taxis and floating aquaculture systems. It owns and has a plant on the land where the Bethlehem-Fairfield yard was located in the 1940’s. MAPC currently holds a 50-year lease, with an option to purchase the 780-foot pier that needs to be replaced to accommodate the JOHN W. BROWN and the expansion of MAPC’s business.

MAPC company has two workforce development partnerships in Baltimore and an active apprenticeship program with the state of Maryland. It employs welders, electronic technicians, machinists, engineers and naval architects.

Both PLS and MAPC see the innovative plan to restore pier space on the footprint of the historic fitting-out pier, one of the few remaining WWII era shipyard structures as a means of keeping Baltimore’s maritime heritage alive and promoting economic development of the port.

“By co-locating with MAPC, the reconstructed pier would promote growth in South Baltimore,” said Michael Barnes. “The presence of the JOHN W. BROWN in Fairfield, near Fort McHenry, would contribute to Baltimore’s tourism industry and enhance public knowledge of the importance of the port, which isn’t fully appreciated. It would also allow the ship to expand its numerous training programs with youth groups and maritime industry organizations.”

Barnes also pointed out that the implementing the plan is expected to take about two years and that the ship is working on interim dockage until the Fairfield pier is ready.

Mark Rice, President of MAPC noted, “The photographs on the walls of our present building remind us daily of the thousands of shipyard workers, men and women of all races and ethnicities, who did more than their part to win WWII. Our vision is that our Bethlehem Fairfield site will host rapidly growing numbers of skilled Baltimore workers and that the presence of the JOHN W. BROWN will remind our community and the citizens of Maryland of those who worked so hard to build the ships that saved the world.”

The estimated cost to rebuild the pier includes complete demolition of the remains of the 80-year- old pier, construction of a new heavy ship pier and repair of the bulkhead at the foot of the pier. Other types of replacement piers are also being considered, including floating piers.

Under the joint proposal, dual use of the rebuilt pier would meet Maritime Industrial Zoning Overlay District (MIZOD) requirements for deep water access at the working waterfront by combining the JOHN W. BROWN’s education and training missions with MAPC’s advanced maritime work. MAPC would turn over ownership to the new non-profit and in return receive a long-term lease for a portion of the pier. The MIZOD designation was created by Baltimore authorities in 2004 and renewed in 2014.

In addition to its “living history” cruise program, the ship provides a fully operating training platform for the an Anne Arundel county STEM program, U.S. Navy Sea Cadets, police and fire first responders, the US Customs and Border Patrol, the Baltimore-based Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies, the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, and others.

The ship is operated and maintained by a 175-person all volunteer crew, ranging from fully licensed ship masters to entry level deckhands and engineering workers drawn from PLS’ overall membership of about 1,200. Since 1988, volunteers have contributed more than 1.9 million volunteer hours of service to the vessel.

The ship, one of more than 384 Liberty Ships completed at Bethlehem-Fairfield, completed 13 wartime voyages carrying troops and cargo. She then served as a maritime trades high school in New York City for 36 years before returning to Baltimore. More than 500,000 people have sailed aboard the vessel or taken pier side tours.

For more information, please visit the SS John W. Brown on facebook and www.ssjohnwbrown.org.

Contact Michael Barnes at 410-598-3660 or dmbarnesfl@aol.com

Aluminum metallurgy as a science and an art

Aluminum is a fickle material, appealing to most welders because of the challenge of taming its quirks to maintain its unique performance qualities. Aluminum becomes the metric by which to gauge one’s skill precisely because it is so unforgiving. The same traits that make aluminum valuable to our customers make it a challenge to work with, so our ability to do so is a point of great pride for us at Maritime Applied Physics Corporation.

In-house training is key to maintaining our position as industry leaders in aluminum welding.
Aluminum is ductile and malleable, so it is formable, thus reducing seams, but its softness comes with a lower melting point. For welders, this means that you need skill, knowledge of your machine, a deep understanding of your material, and acute attention to detail to produce a strong weld.

When aluminum is in contact with air, it naturally and immediately begins to produce a thin protective layer of aluminum oxide that is rustproof and corrosion resistant. This is wonderful for maritime vessels, but terrible for welding. That layer of aluminum oxide melts at 2500° F greater than aluminum. The heat discrepancy between a clean surface and an oxidized surface means that If the weld area has not been properly prepared by wire brushing the aluminum oxide film from the material, the base material can get scorched in an effort to produce a “puddle.” Furthermore, if oxygen enters the molten aluminum, the air bubbles begin the oxidation process. So aluminum TIG and MIG welding is performed inside of an artificial and pure atmosphere achieved by releasing inert or semi-inert gas from the torch to force outside contaminants such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor from the weld area.

The mechanics of aluminum welding are not significantly more difficult than those for steel, but there is a narrower margin of error. “Metallurgy is a science and an art,” comments Mark Dziwulski, MAPC’s lead welder and Certified Weld Inspector (CWI). Aluminum welding demands finesse. MAPC has the experience and expertise to produce consistent and structurally sound aluminum welds, and we have become a leader in aluminum welding in the Mid-Atlantic region. “Welding aluminum, especially Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG), is a challenging skill. Even in the Southern United States, where the bulk of this fabrication is done, good aluminum welders are hard to find. MAPC has them. We continue to hone our skill and train our team in new procedures and methods,” says Dziwulski.
Mark Dziwulski aka “Diz” TIG welding


Staying current is critical in the field of maritime welding, where aluminum is often the best material and MIG welding the best method. Many factors, especially material and thickness, determine the optimal welding method. MIG welding is best for thick material. Electrically charged wire is pushed into a weld joint. As the electric arc from the wire is tries to pass through the base metal, both the wire and the metal it is in contact with melt, creating a puddle of molten metal where both sides of the joint and the introduced filler wire become one.

Welders in our area do not often come in contact with aluminum material thick enough to warrant MIG, so it is rarely covered in regional trade schools or on the job. At MAPC, in-house training is key to our success as a leader in aluminum fabrication, and it creates a culture of improvement and cooperation. Investing in our employees allows us to tailor our skillset to industry needs and demonstrate to our talented workforce that we appreciate their abilities and want them to develop professionally. MAPC’s MIG team welding aluminum deck plates of the new Baltimore Water Taxis Our field is always advancing. We have the dynamic craftsmen with an aptitude for advanced technology and an appetite for new skills to drive innovation and stay ahead of the curve.

-Written by Abbey Hallock, MAPC employee and welder. Hallock has 8 years of experience in industrial and ornamental stainless steel and aluminum welding. She has worked in stick and MIG welding, but has placed emphasis on TIG throughout her career. She was instrumental in the first builds of the Baltimore Water Taxi.

MAPC Completes Global Wind Organization (GWO) Training for Offshore Wind Field Team

A team of engineers and technicians from Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC) recently completed Global Wind Organization (GWO) Basic Safety Training with Sea Survival and Transfer modules at RelyOn Nutec in Teesside, United Kingdom.

This GWO training is the accepted industry standard for accessing offshore wind turbines, met masts, transformers, and buoys. It includes tower climbing, advanced first aid training, and fire suppression training.

Maryland’s Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) Maryland Business Works training assistance program provided 50% matching funds to assist MAPC in providing this training to its employees. MAPC has won a Maryland wind energy area met mast outfitting contract with US Wind, Inc., one of Maryland’s two offshore wind developers, and plans to use this training in order to support the contract. 

Mark Rice, President and Founder of MAPC: “Global Wind Organization training is not currently available in the United States, so leveraging the lessons learned from Europe ensures our personnel are well prepared to handle the unique demands of offshore wind tower climbing.” With a track record of innovative and challenging projects in the maritime sector, MAPC is well equipped to support the emerging U.S. offshore wind industry.

MAPC has obtained a sublicense from Blount Boats to build South Boats’ licensed Crew Transfer Vessels, and seeks to provide outfitting, commissioning and O&M services for site assessments, turbine transition, and balance-of-plant systems.  MAPC’s supplier network and capabilities include instrumentation and data acquisition systems, solar and wind power systems, collision avoidance lighting and signals, davits, and fall and fire safety systems.

MAPC will be presenting TALONS at MACC on Thursday, July 19th! Will we see you there?

MAPC is honored to have our white paper on the TALONS tethered parafoil system accepted into ASNE’s Multi-Agency Craft Conference. TALONS Program Manager, Kevin Silbert, will be presenting the TALONS system for extension of Unmanned Surface Vessel command and control on Thursday at 11a.m. at the Boats and Crafts Port Tent! We look forward to seeing you there. Here’s a sneak peak at one of MAPC’s presentation slides:








Designing Sikorsky’s MH-60R Life Raft Pod

Brunswick, Maine
November, 2017

Sikorsky was tasked by an international naval customer to provide an External Life Raft Pod (ELRP) for its MH-60R helicopters that could manually or automatically deploy under the toughest weather conditions, and to be easily operated with limited dexterity in a thick survival suit and gloves in cold water conditions. Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC) designed and manufactured the ELRPs to meet those engineering challenges. After a rigorous testing program, Sikorsky’s ELRP is now available as an option for the international customer’s MH-60R and can be qualified for other H-60 helicopters.

The ELRP can be jettisoned from up to 50 feet altitude at 60 knots of forward velocity, and deploys a TSO C70a Type 1 compliant cold weather six-person life raft and survival kit. In an aircraft ditching scenario, the ELRP automatically deploys and floats to the surface for access by survivors. The pod remains sealed until manual actuation of large orange manual release handles, and is buoyant both before and after deployment. Automatically activated LED strobe locator lights are visible for over three miles and are designed to strobe continuously for 12 hours.

To perform in this aerospace program, MAPC’s Brunswick, Maine office became AS9100 compliant. Please see Specification Sheet for more information.