Waterproof Towed Array Hosewall

Period of Performance: 07/21/2014 - 01/17/2015

$80K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road Array
Austin, TX 78733
Principal Investigator

Abstract

High moisture permeation rates through hose wall materials are a primary failure mode for the design currently used in fat line towed arrays. These premature failures are extremely costly in terms of repair, and the loss of sensors in the towed array impacts submarine mission capability. The high moisture permeation rates are related to the composition of the TPU matrix resin and hosewall reinforcement. The research objective in this Phase I effort involves the development of materials and processes to reduce water permeation while maintaining hose mechanical and acoustic properties. By decreasing the polarity of the polymer backbone, significant decreases in permeability can be realized. The innovation to be investigated involves the incorporation of elastomeric materials that have a high level of hydrocarbon character that will mitigate moisture permeation rates associated with the currently used polyether based TPU. TRI/Austin will be teaming with a major towed array supplier with the goal of rapid insertion of the developed moisture resistant elastomers into existing and planned arrays. The projected improvement in decreased water permeation through the hosewall is expected to be a factor of 200 to 1,000, depending on the design configuration.