Imaging and Visualization Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution. Workers at Ladish Forging drove a press onto hot
titanium, transforming it into a cup, part of the personnel sphere for
In case you missed it the first time Kevin mentioned, the NY Times has a fantastic writeup about the casting of the sphere for the new Alvin.
“Amazing,” Tom Furman, a senior engineer at Ladish Forging, said after
a big press bore down on an 11-foot disk of hot metal, making the
delicate manipulation look as easy as rearranging a gargantuan pat of
butter…The objective of the metalworking company was to transform two giant
disks of titanium — stronger and lighter than steel, and perfect for
withstanding the vast pressures of the deep — into twin hemispheres. If
forged successfully, the cuplike hemispheres would be welded together
to form the beginnings of the personnel sphere, initiating the
of sphere is only one of the three hurdles. The second is producing a
foam back hard enough to resist pressure but light enough for
buoyancy. The third creating batteries exceptionally sturdy, strong,
and long lasting.