Trelleborg provides buoyancy and insulation solutions primarily for the offshore oil and gas, marine and offshore fabrication markets. It is the supplier of choice for foam buoyancy systems suitable for subsea operations up to full ocean depth. In addition to providing material for the Undersea Voyager Project, Trelleborg’s syntactic foam has been used in other scientific ocean projects, such as the Alvin submersible, used to explore the wreck of the Titanic.
Scott Cassell, undersea explorer, CEO and founder of the Undersea Voyager Project, spends most of his workday underwater. He stopped logging his underwater time when he reached 13,000 hours in 2007. “Frankly, I feel I am just getting started and cannot spend enough time underwater,” he says. Cassell has dedicated his life to saving the ocean, working with scientists and researchers in an often-lonely battle to protect the sea. “If the seas fail, all of humankind goes extinct,” he warns. “Thousands of scientists around the world are screaming warning signs, and few care enough to listen to them.” There’s urgency to his mission, which is being addressed through the Undersea Voyager Project. The nonprofit project stems from a lifetime fascination with the sea. “Underwater, I have seen how spectacular life really is, and it’s worth saving just for the splendorous beauty it holds – much less the actual life-support system it harbors for our species,” he says.
Cassell spends much of his time in the Great White, a submersible that he recently rebuilt and outfitted with Trelleborg’s syntactic foam. This foam, the industry leader in strength-to-weight ratio, is designed to withstand depths of up to 11,000 feet under tremendous pressure. Since it weighs less than other foam, it can also carry a bigger payload, a real advantage in cramped quarters. “Trelleborg’s syntactic foam is the holy grail for subsea applications because it is strong yet light,” says Bob Kelly, Vice President of Trelleborg Offshore & Construction in Boston, U.S. “It provides buoyancy at great depths and has very low water uptake, so it’s long-lasting as well.” Trelleborg’s foam typically lasts more than 20 years in sea environments.
Cassell welcomed the support Trelleborg gave him regarding the Great White, which has a depth limit of 500 fsw (feet of salt water). “I received engineering and kind guidance from Trelleborg,” he says. “I was educated on what the best foam was for our application and how much we would need.” Cassell explains that a real benefit with Trelleborg’s syntactic foam is its machinability, shock resistance and strength-to-weight ratio. “We are a small operation, using a small submersible doing a huge job, often on TV,” he says. “Reliability and durability are paramount.
For more information, please go to: www.trelleborg.com/offshore