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Electric
08-20-2005, 10:26 PM
I received this from a friend that knows the writer, a retired Marine that is associated with the publication.

From The Federalist 05-32 Digest of 05/12/05

After our report two weeks ago about environmentally-friendly foam being a major factor in the loss of the orbiter Columbia, we discovered that NASA is not the only government agency with PC bureaucrats willing to risk lives in order to comply with EPA rules.

Four decades ago, as the U.S. role in Vietnam was escalating, the weapons-procurement process was working on a modern replacement for the well functioning, but aging, M-1 rifle and its derivatives. The new rifle had to be lighter, shorter and easier to carry and use the same ammunition. The resulting M-16 rifle was almost half the weight of the M-1 A2 and used the new 5.56 mm cartridge, about half the weight of the one it replaced.

The M-16 has a forged-aluminum upper and lower "receiver," heat treated and hard anodized for a better life-span, but the new materials had special needs. When the rifle is fired in the full-auto mode, the bolt cycles in this aluminum receiver fast enough to deliver 700 rounds per minute. Thus, the M-16 was delivered with a new lubricant formulated with flakes of Teflon suspended in solution, which lodge in the pores of the aluminum receiver so that the bolt slides on Teflon instead of aluminum. This lubricant kept the rifle in excellent working condition even after tens of thousands of rounds.

In the 1990s, however, the EPA asked all government agencies to comply with new regulations regarding the use of CFCs (Freon), but with the caveat that if elimination of the CFC derivative negatively affected the mission, the agency could file for exemption.

As was the case with NASA, the Department of Defense did not seek an exemption, opting instead to use CFC-friendly formulations. The production of the Teflon flakes in the M-16 lubricant required the use of CFCs, so the military reverted to the old LSA (lubricant, small arms), relying on oils to reduce friction.

Fast forward to the frontlines in the Middle East, where the air is infused with super fine particles. All who serve there know this micro-fine dust covers everything. Marines and infantrymen who have been in sustained combat operations report that the "light film"
of oil on the receiver and bolt combine with that super-fine dust, forming "slurry" which, when heated under fire, cakes, thus affecting the rifle's firing reliably. The original Teflon solution created no such slurry. Many after-action reports note that rifles are jamming, and it is not uncommon for a Marine or Soldier to pick up an enemy
AK-47 in the middle of a fire-fight and use it to finish the mission.

According to our sources, while field reports write off this phenomenon as part of doing business in a desert environment, the real cause is a bureaucracy more concerned with PC regulations on CFC-compliant lubricants than with the viability of the most important assets on any battlefield, our Soldiers and Marines.

Pitt Gorilla
08-21-2005, 01:15 AM
I think the Shuttle program in general MAY be a bigger problem than the foam.

Electric
08-21-2005, 07:02 AM
I think the Shuttle program in general MAY be a bigger problem than the foam.

I would have to agree with you that the program is on it's last legs. I think the collective braintrust went to sleep instead of continuing research to build better vehicles for space. There are some that totally dis the entire space program as something that is useless and has never benefited mankind.

We do not now have, nor do we have in development stages, any vehicles to achieve manned deep space exploration. That would be the next logical step in our space program from a planetary standpoint. There is no technology that would allow such exploration. The vehicle would have to be large enough to carry all supplies needed as well as the equipment to replicate foodstuffs that could be used to nourish the people on board.

This could go further, but I don't think it would serve any useful purpose. Our time is limited by "religious end times" and/or the end of the planet as we know it due to global warming, etc. There is no time left to speak of.