Intersecting Titanium Spheres for Deep Submersibles

by George F. Leon, (A.M.ASCE), Sr. Res. and Development Engr.; General Dynamics—Electric Boat Division, Groton, CT,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 3, Pg. 981-1006

Document Type: Journal Paper


An evaluation of a bispherical pressure hull configuration and the investigation of the use of ceramics in pressure vessels is presented. A one-fourteenth scale model made of titanium 6Al-4V alloy was designed for an operating depth of 20,000 ft and for a collapse depth of 30,000 ft. Also incorporated into the design was the replacement of the integral titanium reinforcing ring by a high-strength, light-weight ceramic (A12O3) ring resulting in a 10% increase in payload. A structural model test program was initiated to experimentally evaluate the design of the intersecting sphere configuration with and without the ceramic reinforcing ring. Experimental results were in good agreement with analytical predictions and serve to verify the validity of the analytical techniques employed.

Subject Headings: Pressure vessels | Ceramics | Titanium | Spheres | Scale models | Alloys | Material failures | Integrals

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