Polycarbonate Plastic Inserts for Spherical Acrylic Plastic Shells Under Hydrostatic Loading

[+] Author and Article Information
J. D. Stachiw

Naval Ocean Systems Center, San Diego, CA 92152

R. B. Dolan

Harbor Branch Foundation Inc., Fort Pierce, Fla. 33450

D. L. Clayton

R&D, Harbor Branch Foundation Inc., Fort Pierce, FL 33450

J. Eng. Ind 103(1), 90-98 (Feb 01, 1981) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3184466 History: Online July 30, 2009


An acrylic plastic spherical pressure hull incorporating polycarbonate inserts for mounting of penetrators has been built and pressure tested. The transparent hull will serve as one atmosphere cockpit in Johnson-Sea-Link #3 submersible for 2500 ft. service. Tests have been conducted with model scale polycarbonate inserts in acrylic plastic spherical pressure hulls and windows to evaluate the structural integrity and cyclic fatigue life of polycarbonate plastic inserts and acrylic shells in which they are mounted under repeated hydrostatic pressurizations. Test results indicate that the short term, long term and cyclic fatigue life of a polycarbonate insert, serving as a bulkhead for electric or hydraulic penetrators in spherical acrylic plastic pressure hulls or windows, exceeds that of the acrylic plastic shell in which it is mounted. Structural parameters of polycarbonate inserts are discussed and design criteria formulated for their utilization in manned submersibles and pressure vessels for human occupancy. Particular emphasis is placed on selection of material, seal configuration, and retainment design.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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