The British Ministry of defence is testing composite materials for use in its fleet of Submarines.
The use of composite materials in the construction of submarines has a number of potential advantages, including the need for less maintenance which delivers a reduction in operating costs. Composite materials also provide the opportunity to reduce the acoustic signature of a submarine. As part of an ongoing programme, composite materials are tested by the MOD to develop new approaches and designs.
The MOD are using QinetiQ’s Hyperbaric Trials Unit located in Haslar Uk, testing the composites require a sufficiently large pressure chamber which can also meet the pressure fatigue cycling regime.
The HTU specifically allows the assessment of submarine escape and diving systems and components. Certified to test equipment to 1500m, it has a unique capability to re-create the actual pressure profiles experienced underwater, completely independent of the performance of the components under test.