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Exploratory Study on Engineering Ceramics Pressure Hulls for Deep-Sea Submergence Services

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An underwater vehicle for deep-sea operation should be as light as possible; therefore, development of premium structural materials such as titanium alloy, glass, and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) for external pressure hulls has been ongoing. Engineering ceramics is one of the candidate materials, and the study of engineering ceramics has been underway for many years; however practical applications have been limited.

The main purpose of this study is to establish the methodology of fabrication of ceramics pressure hulls for deep-sea submergence services. As the first step, prototypes of the spherical shells were fabricated from engineering ceramics, and their local radii of curvatures and wall thickness were precisely measured. In addition to these measurements, the strain on hemispheres and their collapse strength were measured by pressure tests in order to evaluate the relationship between spherical irregularities and collapse strength. The strength-to-weight ratios of fabricated pressure hulls were significantly higher than that of syntactic foam for deep-sea operations, therefore it is expected that engineering ceramics can be among the promising structural materials for lightening of an underwater vehicle's body.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-09-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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