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Raw Strength

Raw Strength

Three titanium ingots—two are 17,000 pounds apiece, the third is 7,000— arrive at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio for testing after being fabricated at Titanium Metals Mill in Morgantown, Pa. Ultimately, they will be forged at Cudahy Forging (Wisconsin) into pieces of the personnel sphere for the replacement human occupied vehicle, the next-generation, deep-diving submersible being developed by WHOI and funded by the National Science Foundation. The titanium will be "paddle forged" into pancake shapes and then pressed thru a ring to make two hemispherical shapes. After forging, they will be machined to the correct thickness and then electron-beam welded together. Titanium is used for submersibles because of its high strength-to-weight ratio compared to steel, and because of its resistance to corrosion in seawater.

(Photo by Robert Brown, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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