The material selection comes following the announcement that OceanGate and NASA have entered into an agreement to collaborate on the development, manufacturing and testing of new carbon fiber pressure vessels.
OceanGate Inc., a provider of manned submersible services has selected industry leader, Toray Composite Materials America, Inc. (CMA), as the preferred provider of aerospace grade prepreg carbon fiber material for use in the manufacturing of a new carbon fiber pressure vessels for use in deep-sea manned submersibles.
Toray Industries Inc. began researching carbon fiber in 1961, ten years later they began commercial production. Today they are world’s largest supplier of carbon fiber and the leader in providing fibers for numerous aircraft, including the Boeing 787.
“CMA has been a long-time trusted supplier to the aerospace industry and is a world-leader in the development and innovation of prepreg composite materials. Their experienced team and extensive knowledge of composite materials will play a critical role as we develop the next generation of manned submersible, to usher in a new era of exploration using aerospace quality composites,” commented OceanGate CEO, Stockton Rush.
“In order to provide the most effective solutions to build equipment for new markets, like the deep oceans of the Blue Economy, we must use high performance composite materials in equipment designs that can withstand extremely high external pressures, target depth will be 4500 meters below sea level, where the hull will withstand pressures of 6600psi. This project with OceanGate is one that not only allows us to use our materials in a new way, but to also provide technology that will help advance the understanding of our planet and the vast unexplored regions below the surface of Earth’s oceans” said CMA Vice President of Industrial Sales, Philip Schell.
Production of the new pressure vessels is scheduled to begin later this year.