Under the Sea: Composites Dive Deep into New Marine Technologies
What do Trans-Atlantic flights, cruises and an office remodel have in common? Composites make them possible. Composites are part of our everyday lives due to their versatile and reliable features. Like most products, composites are also constantly evolving to meet the expanding needs of consumers. While the composites industry focuses on innovation in design, we also foster change inside the industries we serve. A wonderful example is the modern marine industry.
Thanks to the power of composites, there is a new generation of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, or AUVs. As their name suggests, they have little to no requirement for human guidance in their exploration of marine life.1 The AUV is the first technology of its type, and they are predicted to have a wide range of uses including marine-related research, aircraft crash investigations, and seafloor cartography. The reduced need for man hours saves resources such as time and money while offering a level of exploration and precision not possible in a manned expedition, and these AUVs are less disruptive of the underwater environment than manned vehicles have been.
In other efforts to stay green, a new generation of outboard marine engines is in development. These engines feature an integrated cooling system that utilizes an all-composite pump body, stainless steel cartridge liner, and wear plate as well as a special Aramid gasket. The design utilizes composite materials that can withstand highly adverse conditions while operating with greatly reduced energy consumption. Now in production at the beta-level, full product launch is scheduled for early next year.
Clearly, of critical importance to marine activity is a dependable sealant. Before installing any new gasket in an aquatic vehicle, engineers must find a material that can withstand a range of operating temperatures and pressures, harsh environmental conditions, and yet is flexible enough to achieve a proper seal without failure.1 Increasing demands for new, more diverse materials are challenging. Fortunately, composites, with their versatility and adaptability, are the perfect solution.
Disruptive technologies are becoming the norm. In the fast-paced composites market, new materials, processes, and applications seem to appear daily. While changing the business landscape, innovation also fuels our economy and our lifestyles, and these ongoing changes impact every industry. The composites industry has not only withstood the evolutionary storm, we have been a catalyst for much of the continual research and development across the multiple industries we serve.
At Welformed, we are proud of the impact our products have had, especially in the marine industry.
Learn more about Welformed Marine industry products and services, here.
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