World Naval Ships Forums  
VIEW ALL OF OUR CURRENT SPECIAL OFFERS HERE!

Go Back   World Naval Ships Forums > Naval History > Other Naval Topics
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Other Naval Topics Other general naval or navy-related topics.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-02-2010, 22:19
Marek T Marek T is offline
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Gdynia, Poland
Posts: 241
Default Semtex and Corticene.

It is generally known that certain areas on warship steel decks were covered with semtex (or cemtex) to prevent skidding. I understand that semtex was poured in thin layer over the deck and left to dry. Thus it covered the deck well, like a thick layer of paint.
What about corticene? Was it somehow fastened to the deck? Glued perhaps?
Enclosed please find a photo of PIORUN's deck in December 1940 and a close-up of her deck. She was an N-class (ex NERISSA) and I expected her to have the semtex. But something strange seems to be thrown onto the deck instead.

And another question.
Some navies used coconut mats as non-skidding surfaces, for example US Navy during WW1 or Polish Navy during inter-war period. Were such mats used on Royal Navy ships, too?

Thanks in advance for any comments.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PIORUN 12-1940.jpg (306.3 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg PIORUN shake-up Dec 1940 01.jpg (1,018.9 KB, 148 views)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-02-2010, 22:38
harry.gibbon's Avatar
harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 7,853
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Marek T,

Semtex was apparently a trowelled on surface .. green in colour

Corticene was apparently held down with brass strips ... brown in colour

Little h
__________________

GFXU - HMS Falmouth in Falmouth Bay
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-02-2010, 22:52
Scurs's Avatar
Scurs Scurs is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,002
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Little h........so that's what the stuff was called! Semtex! A sort of "sea-sick" green, did apply it with a paint brush, like painting with glue! Over that were laid sticky-back, non-slip strips.....................only ship I was in that used this arrangement was KEPPEL. Remainder were painted Brunswick Green decks, with afore-mentioned non-skid strips applied around places like gun turrets.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-02-2010, 23:19
BIG LES's Avatar
BIG LES BIG LES is offline
Chief Petty Officer
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 77
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

We had the same application on the Carysfort only the sticky treads were all down the waists and all over the iron deck .All weather decks in fact
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-02-2010, 02:47
Guz rating's Avatar
Guz rating Guz rating is offline
Vice Commodore
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 600
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

I thought Semtex was plastic explosive similar to what we used in the army PE4 (putty explosive). Used by the field engineers for demolition and as cutting charges on steel beams. We even used it to boil water for our coffee, you could set fire to it and it gave of an intense heat. It needed a detonator or detonating cord to set it off. The stuff I saw used on the North Sea Platforms for painting steel decks and gangways was epoxy resin

Guz
__________________
The older I get the better I was.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-02-2010, 09:40
Scurs's Avatar
Scurs Scurs is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,002
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

If your right Guzz..........hope that wasn't what we applied to the decks.............make Both Watches go with a bang!!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-02-2010, 11:04
Jan Steer's Avatar
Jan Steer Jan Steer is offline
Rear-Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Posts: 1,254
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

The green, non-slip strips were called "Deck Treads".

best wishes
Jan
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-02-2010, 11:21
harry.gibbon's Avatar
harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 7,853
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

There is a company in Glasgow called Semtex Flooring, there are also semtex tiles apparently, so although the semtex most commonly known is for all explosive reasons .. it is a valid deck treatment. Dunlop were invloved in the product in Wales.

Little h
__________________

GFXU - HMS Falmouth in Falmouth Bay

Last edited by harry.gibbon : 07-02-2010 at 13:35.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-02-2010, 12:07
Guz rating's Avatar
Guz rating Guz rating is offline
Vice Commodore
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 600
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

As you say Harry a brand name for PE a type developed in Czechoslovakia under USSR control for sale and distribution to anti western groups LIBYA being the main QM. I don't thing the USSR were worried about nicking someone's brand name.

Guz
__________________
The older I get the better I was.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-02-2010, 13:36
Marek T Marek T is offline
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Gdynia, Poland
Posts: 241
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

According to Czech Wikipedia their "semtex" was made in in a town called Semtin in a factory named Explosia.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-02-2010, 18:59
Guz rating's Avatar
Guz rating Guz rating is offline
Vice Commodore
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 600
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Very conveniently named I read a few years ago about an area the Japanese renamed Scotch so they could distil whisky and sell it a Scotch.

Alan
__________________
The older I get the better I was.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-02-2010, 19:34
steve roberts steve roberts is offline
Crossed the Bar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: gosport hampshire uk
Posts: 2,133
Talking Re: Semtex and corticene.

Anything to get around EU regulations then Alan. Cheers. Steve.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:24
Marek T Marek T is offline
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Gdynia, Poland
Posts: 241
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marek T View Post
Some navies used coconut mats as non-skidding surfaces, for example US Navy during WW1 or Polish Navy during inter-war period. Were such mats used on Royal Navy ships, too?
Yes, they were.
http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.u...chmancrew2.jpg
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-02-2010, 13:16
Rob Hoole's Avatar
Rob Hoole Rob Hoole is offline
Rear-Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Waterlooville, UK
Posts: 1,034
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Corticene, a brown cork-like material similar to the stuff used to make the thick old shower mats, was just going out when I joined but I remember the later introduction of green self-adhesive non-skid deck treads, like large pieces of emery paper, for use on well-used areas that got slippery, e.g. the waists and the sloping area of the forecastle. I also remember grey non-skid Semtex being applied to the upper decks of Leander class frigates in lieu of Brunswick Green paint and I think it was also used to seal the wooden decks of some Tons late in their lives.

As for coconut matting, read the section about coir shot mats in the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship here. Apart from protecting the deck where 4.5" cartridges were ejected during firings, they were also used at the dump area during Replenishment at Sea (RAS) and under the roller of the inboard end of the ship's brow.

From the same source:

Brow: A narrow platform placed between ship and shore for embarkation and disembarkation, sometimes called a gangway.

Gangway: The opening in the buwarks or position in the ship's side by which the ships is entered or left. The term is also used to describe a passageway in a ship, and sometimes used to describe the platform between ship and shore (see Brow).
__________________
Best wishes,

Rob
www.mcdoa.org.uk

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-02-2010, 18:41
Dick Dick is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 449
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

WW2 Corticene was a linoleum, held down by thin brass strips.
Colour: Medium brown - described as the colour of milk chocolate.

WW2 Semtex was a trowelled-on latex-based non-slip composite material.
There were originally three manufacturers which may account for the the varying colours reported early war. By late war a “Dunlop” green seems to have become standard. (I suspect that they were all bought out by/merged into Dunlop.)

It is reported to have been first used on the I class (and all new construction after that so Piorun should certainly have had it rather than Corticene)

George Mack who was a seaman gunner who joined HMS Intrepid on her 1st commission in July 1937:

“As soon as we arrived in Chatham our chums began to arrive aboard to see what the new ship looked like, and to renew old acquaintances.
From the jetty we looked very smart in our gleaming light grey Med Fleet colours, against the dark grey of the Home Fleet ships that were in the yard with us, but when they stepped aboard things were not so smart. We had managed to sweep up, but the decks looked filthy as they were covered in a new paste-like surface, instead of the brown corticene, held down with shiny brass strips, as on other ships.
By Sunday the POs and leading seaman had gone round other ships to borrow a supply of cleaning materials and we set to with a will to clean the upper deck. To our disgust, nothing had the slightest effect, in spite of all the skills that years of hard-won experience lavished on it! When we eventually met the rest of the flotilla we found they had been equally unsuccessful; the only real difference between the ships was that three had dirty brown decks, three dirty blue decks and three had dirty grey decks!

This curse held over us for about six months, until suddenly we noticed that the Impulsive had cleaner decks than the rest of us. In spite of her trying to keep the secret formula to herself, we soon noticed that she was washing her decks with a salt water hose, and the problem was solved. Salt water and nothing else. We now had the problem of a dirty ship's side! In all fairness however this was one of the best things that happened to destroyers. For it meant there was a really safe foothold in all weathers. Before this the decks were very slippery, and to give extra grip at sea, coconut matting was laid round the guns and along the iron deck, but the first seas coming aboard would rip the lashings, and it was a constant battle to keep it securely lashed down. Another snag about 'Semtex' was that it wore through the soles of shoes at an alarming rate, as it was like walking on sandpaper.”


See also…
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Semtex%201.jpg (32.8 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg Semtex%202.jpg (34.9 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg Semtex%203.jpg (35.9 KB, 28 views)

Last edited by Dick : 08-02-2010 at 19:15.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-02-2010, 19:27
Marek T Marek T is offline
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Gdynia, Poland
Posts: 241
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

This is getting more and more interesting. Thank you!

Still I wonder was laid or thrown on the PIORUN's deck back in 1940 ... It seems too stiff for a mat (there are no lashings, too) and surely it was not trowelled on the deck.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-02-2010, 20:03
harry.gibbon's Avatar
harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 7,853
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Corticene:

In this link regarding Trade and Industry in Enfield reference is made to the establishment of the Corticene Floor Covering Co.

See Economic History, and section entitled Trade and Industry, eight paragraphs down.....which starts thus:- Other large scale industries...............

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/rep...x?compid=26953

Little h
__________________

GFXU - HMS Falmouth in Falmouth Bay
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-02-2010, 20:19
harry.gibbon's Avatar
harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 7,853
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Semtex Floor coverings:

In this link can be found proposals regarding a new use for the former Brynmawr Semtex Plant Pump House.
See section 1.3 Historical and Architectural background.....
(reference is made to Dunlop Semtex having taken it over in 1956)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19838124/P...lant-Brynmawr-

Little h
__________________

GFXU - HMS Falmouth in Falmouth Bay
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-02-2010, 05:58
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: E. Sussex
Posts: 3,037
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

I can recall that the green "sandpaper" treads that were stuck to the alloy decks of Type 15's and I think some type 12s in a circuit round the deck was ideal for horse racing nights....
tim
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-02-2010, 08:05
Dick Dick is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 449
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Marek,

Piorun completed early November 1940. Your photo shows additional equipment/cabling around the TT mounting which makes me think it is some form of trial firing that is taking place. It looks to me like some temporary carpet/matting has been laid on the deck. I guess this might have been to reduce the trip hazard by covering up some of the cabling, or perhaps to make the surface less slippery for any civilians on board to monitor the test.

Best wishes.

Last edited by Dick : 09-02-2010 at 11:56.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 13-02-2010, 19:41
Marek T Marek T is offline
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Gdynia, Poland
Posts: 241
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Many thanks for all, who contributed. It is refreshing to see how small bits of information add.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-12-2010, 13:56
TCC TCC is offline
Commodore
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 954
Default Re: Semtex and corticene.

Yes, another vote for cortiscene colour as 'milk-chocolate brown'.

Many a time, just for research purposes.. ahem... I've bought a pack of chocolate digestives to get the right shade of brown! Great with a cup of tea!!
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-12-2010, 15:15
limpet44's Avatar
limpet44 limpet44 is offline
Leading Seaman
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Chichester.
Posts: 29
Cool Re: Semtex and Corticene.

Remember painting the grass on the upper?? I am sure we used to mix in sand with the paint to make it non skidders, that was before "deck treads"the "Buffer" knew the ratio paint/sand. Where did the name "Sand Scratcher" come from.Why was a South African a "Yaaarpi" Yes/Ya i dont know. Corticene was laid on most of the decks in shore establishments.Remember the bumpers? before electric polishers.Electric polishers??? Lift the handle go right,,, drop the handle down go left. Such technology Then they brought in GLEAM . pipe!! the burma road between, compartments ?----?will be out of bounds during the middle watch whist the deck is GLEAMED" then we would lay in our pits choking on the fumes from it.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04-12-2010, 17:47
jbryce1437's Avatar
jbryce1437 jbryce1437 is offline
Forum Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Roker, Sunderland, England
Posts: 8,997
Default Re: Semtex and Corticene.

I remember GLEAM, which resembled varnish, which was used to give a nice shine to the lino laid on messdecks and along passageways and the Burma Way. Also its sister product GLIFT, which was applied with wire wool to remove old layers of GLEAM before applying a new coat.

Jim
__________________
Old Ships: Raleigh 1963, Collingwood 63, Ark Royal 64, Collingwood 67, Undaunted 68, Porstmouth FMG 70, Exmouth 72, Victory 1974 as JEM, EM, OEM, LOEM, POOEL. Then 28 years in the Fire Service
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 04-12-2010, 18:26
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plymouth, Devon
Posts: 3,273
Default Re: Semtex and Corticene.

I nearly lost two young bright Sparks one evening in the Transmitter Room on a type 15 who thought they would impress and earn some brownie points. They shut themselves in stripped the old and re Gleemed the deck. When I entered purely by chance one was nearly unconscious the other reeling about. Their intention was good but it very nearly cost them their lives.

Never did like that stuff.

Dave H
Reply With Quote
Reply



Ship Search by Name : Advanced Search
Random Timeline Entry : 3rd January 1939 : HMS Harrier : 5th Minesweeping Flotilla, Nore Command

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:22.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.