Red Hot Titantium Sphere

26alvin_650
Advanced
Imaging and Visualization Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution.  Workers at Ladish Forging drove a press onto hot
titanium, transforming it into a cup, part of the personnel sphere for
the submersible.

In case you missed it the first time Kevin mentioned, the NY Times has a fantastic writeup about the casting of the sphere for the new Alvin

“Amazing,” Tom Furman, a senior engineer at Ladish Forging, said after
a big press bore down on an 11-foot disk of hot metal, making the
delicate manipulation look as easy as rearranging a gargantuan pat of
butter…The objective of the metalworking company was to transform two giant
disks of titanium — stronger and lighter than steel, and perfect for
withstanding the vast pressures of the deep — into twin hemispheres. If
forged successfully, the cuplike hemispheres would be welded together
to form the beginnings of the personnel sphere, initiating the
vehicle’s birth.

Casting
of sphere is only one of the three hurdles.  The second is producing a
foam back hard enough to resist pressure but light enough for
buoyancy.  The third creating batteries exceptionally sturdy, strong,
and long lasting.

Dr. M (1629 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.





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