I recently read piece in Wired titled “Worlds Greatest Tool: Duct Tape” and it got me to thinking about the “EB Green” variety.
EB Green is found throughout the Navy and rumored to originate from the Electric Boat shipyard, hence the name. If you’re a US Submariner (current or former) you probably heard stories about and experienced the unbelievable strength of “EB Green” duct tape. This stuff is not your Home Depot run of the mill duct tape; I swear when applied properly its just short of epoxy backed Kevlar.
The one famous EB Green story, and possibly a submariner version of an urban legend, is how it survived a trip to test depth. The story goes that an un-named submarine went to sea from the shipyard on builder's trials. During the at sea period the submarine made at least one excursion to test depth. Upon the sub’s return to the shipyard, and a trip into the dry dock, it was discovered that a small area on the pressure hull had some EB Green tape on it. The patch of tape had been over painted and not noticed during construction. The tape was removed so that the hull could be properly painted and a hole was discovered that went “all the way through the pressure hull” to the submarine interior. The EB Green tape had saved the submarine from a certain flooding causality.
I don’t know if this story is true but I've heard it at least a couple of times while on subs and you can find it repeated on the internet here; the 3rd , 10th and 15th entries here and also here.
Like with common duct tape sailors and shipyard workers have found a thousand and one uses for EB Green tape. When I was a shipyard worker I saw it used to repair everything from a leaky air hose in the machine shop to a co-workers noisy car muffler. In the Navy, well let’s just say sailors can get creative while at sea.
Other than EB Greening non-quals to the overhead any other submariners have an EB Green story they’d like to share (anonymous entries welcome) in the comments section?