|Publication number||US3611966 A|
|Publication date||Oct 12, 1971|
|Filing date||Jun 4, 1969|
|Priority date||Jun 4, 1969|
|Publication number||US 3611966 A, US 3611966A, US-A-3611966, US3611966 A, US3611966A|
|Inventors||Hunter Frank Baldwin|
|Original Assignee||Hunter Frank Baldwin|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (16), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent  Inventor Frank Baldwin Hunter 24042 Friar St., Woodland Hills, Calif. 95695 [21 Appl. No. 830,229 (22] Filed June 4, 1969  Patented Oct. 12,1971
 SUBMERSIBLE VEHICLE WITH MULTIPLE TUBULAR RING HULL 12 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 114/16, 220/3  B63g 8/00  1 14/16; 220/3, 9 A
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,844,271 7/1958 Shelton 220/3 3,167,204 1/1965 Rouse 114/16 X 3,338,201 8/1967 Miller.... 114/16 3,191,792 6/1965 Hunt 220/3 Primary Examiner-Trygve M. Blix Attorney-Pastoriza & Kelly ABSTRACT: A submersible vehicle hull section is fabricated from a series of consecutively aligned tubular rings that are joined together on a common axis and are filled with pressurant material. The material internal pressure operates to pretension the rings for counteracting intense depth pressures exerted by ocean water upon the vehicle. When the pressurant material is fluid a fluid pressure regulating system may be coupled in fluid communication with the tubular rings in order to selectively vary the fluid pressure inside the rings to accommodate varying depth pressures.
PATENTED 0m 1 2mm 3.611.966
INI/IEN'I'UR. FRANK BALDWIN HUNTER A TTORNEYS SUBMERSIBLE VEHICLE WITH MULTIPLE TUBULAR RING HULL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a submersible vehicle and more specifically to a submersible vehicle whose hull section is relatively lightweight and yet capable of plunging to extreme ocean depths while safely withstanding enormous depth pressures.
Conventional submersible vehicles constructed to undertake missions at great ocean depths are ordinarily of spherical geometry and/or their hulls have thick ribbed walls. These vehicles are usually bulky and weighty and are difficult to efficiently maneuver because of the poor stability and buoyancy problems.
In contrast with conventional submersible vehicle hulls the hull of this invention is constructed in a vastly different manner involving the pressurization of material within a series of interlinked tubular rings to engender pretension stresses in the rings for counteracting the otherwise crushing forces of great water depths.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly described the present invention comprehends a high-strength structural arrangement for the hull section of a submersible vehicle that is easy to assemble and highly effective in withstanding intense pressures at great water depths. In its broadest scope the submersible vehicle hull section of the present invention includes a plurality of rings that are consecutively aligned on a common axis and filled with pressurant material, such as fluid, with adjacent tubular rings joined securely together by a suitable joining means. The rings may be of torus configuration and, in accordance one embodiment, the joining means may be characterized by saddle blocks alternately arranged with respect to the tubular rings.
In accordance with another preferred embodiment the plurality of tubular rings include a plurality of adjacent outer annular strips aligned on a common axis and a plurality of adjacent inner annular strips spaced radially inwardly of the outer annular strips. A plurality of annular struts are disposed between and are securely coupled with the outer and inner annular strips to form the tubular rings.
A fluid pressure regulating system may be coupled in fluid communication with the tubular rings to selectively vary the fluid pressure inside the rings. For increasing 'water depths the fluid pressure regulating system is operated to correspondingly increase the fluid pressure within the rings. The regulating system includes a central manifold line coupled to branch lines through which pressurant fluid is distributed into and withdrawn from individual tubular rings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS.
The numerous benefits and unique aspects of the present invention will be fully understood when the following detailed description is studied in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partially in section, showing a submersible vehicle whose hull section is constructed from a plurality of tubular rings;
FIG. 2 is a lateral cross-sectional view of the hull section taken along line 22 of FIG. 1, showing a tubular ring filled with pressurant material;
FIG. 3 is a detailed sectional view of a longitudinal top segment of the hull section taken along line 33 of FIG. 2, showing the tubular rings with torus configurations;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 3, showing the tubular rings with another type of cross-sectional configuration;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 4, showing the hull section divided into two portions by tubular rings of different cross-sectional configurations;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the hull section similar to the right side portion of the structure shown in FIG. 5; and,
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. 1, a submersible vehicle 10 is shown which may, for example, be used for conducting marine science studies, conducting underwater commercial investigations or experiments, assisting in salvage operations, etc. Vehicle 10 has a hull section 11 and an operations control cabin 12. A propulsion system 13 is equipped with a propeller, rudders and stabilizer fins.
Hull section 11 of vehicle 10 is constructed from a thinwalled skin or shell 15 wrapped around a plurality of tubular rings 16. The rings 16 are consecutively aligned on a common axis which coincides with the longitudinal axis of vehicle 10. Shell 15 is assembled to enhance the hydrodynamic efliciency of vehicle 10.
FIG. 2 illustrates a tubular ring 16 of general torus configuration, i.e.; a configuration described when a circle is revolved about a straight line that lies within the plane of the circle and does not intersect the circle. Ring 16 has a hollow annular space 17 that is filled with a pressurant material 18 which may, for example, be hydraulic brake liquid or nitrogen gas. For purposes of example, the diameter D of ring 16 is 15 feet, the outer diameter CD. of the tubular wall is 16 inches, and, the wall thickness t is 1.375 inches. Preferably ring 16 is constructed from a high-strength maragingsteel that is characterized by an ideal strength-to-weight ratio.
Referring now to FIG. 3 tubular rings ,16 of hull section 11 are joined together by welding as a unitby saddle blocks 19. Tubular rings 16 and saddle blocks 19 are alternately arranged and the sidewalls of saddle blocks 19 are concavely contoured in order to interfit with adjacent rings 16. Saddle blocks 19 are also constructed with sufficient thickness to safely transmit and absorb the most severe longitudinally oriented compressive stresses anticipated under adverse conditions.
FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of the construction of hull section 1 1. Tubular rings 20 are constructed from outer annular strips 21 that have marginal edges 22 and 23, and, are laterally bowed in cross section with their convex surfaces facing outwardly away from the hull section longitudinal centerline. Inner annular strips'24 are positioned radially inwardly of and correspond with the outer annular strips 21. Inner annular strips 24 have marginal edges 25 and 26 and are also of generally bowed configuration in cross section with their convex surfaces facing inwardly towards the hull section longitudinal centerline. A series of parallel annular struts 27 are arranged between strips 21 and 24. Individual tubular rings 20 are formed by joining the strut outer edges 28 to adjacent outer strip edges 22 and 23, and, by joining the strut inner edges 29 to the inner strip adjacent edges 25 and 26.
Referring to FIG. 5 a longitudinal section of a submersible vehicle hull is depicted wherein a tubular portion, such as that shown in FIG. 4, merges into a conical or frustoconical portion. The conical portion is constructed from outer annular strips 30, inner annular strips 31 and a series of diagonal struts 32 that interlink strips 30 and 31 in order to constitute the individual tubular rings. Successive outer annular strips 30 and inner annular strips 31 diminish in diameter from left to right to form the tapered or conical portion.
FIG. 6 shows a hull section similar to the tapered portion depicted in FIG. 5. A plurality of adjacent outer annular strips 33 are longitudinally offset and spaced radially outwardly of a plurality of adjacent inner annular strips 34. A set of first oblique or diagonal struts 35 are disposed between outer strips 33 and inner strips 34 and are slanted in a given direction not perpendicular to the hull section axis. Alternately arranged between struts 35 are plural diagonal struts 36 that are slanted in a different direction than struts 35 and are also not aligned perpendicular to the hull section axis. The outer edges of adjacent struts 35 and 36 converge and are coupled to adjacent edges of strips 33 to constitute joints 37. In a similar manner the inner ends of adjacent struts 35 and 36 converge and are coupled to adjacent edges of inner strips 34 to constitute joints 38. By constructing the individual tubular rings with triangular cross sections the rings are substantially structurally reinforced to withstand greater crushing forces exerted by the pressures of surrounding water.
FIG. 7 shows a fluid pressure regulating system 39 that can be operated to vary the pressure inside the tubular rings in order to accommodate changing pressure conditions at different water depths. System 39 incorporates a motor 40 that drives a pressurant fluid pump 41. The pressurant fluid is selectively pressurized by a pressure regulator 42 and discharged into a central manifold line 43. For purposes of illustration three tubular rings 44, 45 and 46 are shown which contain pressurant fluid 47. The longitudinal axis or centerline of the hull is indicated by numeral 48.
Manifold line 43 is coupled in fluid communication to three branch lines 49, 50 and 51 that correspond to tubular rings 44, 45 and 46 respectfully. Each branch line includes a check valve 52 for admitting pressurant fluid 47 into an associated tubular ring. Each branch line is arranged in fluid communication with a vent line 53 which bypasses check valve 52 and can be actuated by a solenoid 54 in order to discharge pressurant fluid 47 back to manifold line 43.
Alternatively the pressurant material confined by the tubular rings may be initially pressurized as the hull section is constructed the selected pressure being adequate to withstand the most intense anticipated crushing pressures.
The internal compressive pressure of the pressurant material serves to load the tubular rings with pretension. The resulting pretension stress built into the tubular rings allows the hull section to withstand greater external crushing pressures.
OPERATION Keeping the above constructions in mind it can be understood how many disadvantages of conventional submersible vehicle hulls are overcome or substantially eliminated by the present invention.
In order to benefit from the advantages of this invention it should be understood that the pressurant fluid within the tubular rings may be, (1) increased to a maximum pressure and thereafter maintained constant as the hull section is being fabricated, or, (2) varied in pre ure to accommodate existing or anticipated water depths by operation of fluid pressure regulating system 39 shown in FIG. 7.
Assuming that regulating system 39 is installed within submersible vehicle for use in conjunction with the tubular rings 16, then the regulating system 39 will be operated to effect minimum pressurization when vehicle 10 is at or near the water surface. The necessary pressurization will depend not only upon the water depth but upon the stresses expected when vehicle 10 is propelled through various maneuvers. For example, during relatively sharp turning maneuvers the longitudinally exerted bending stresses encountered may be extreme.
By way of example pressure-regulating system 39 may be operated to increase the fluid pressure inside the tubular rings from 12,500 p.s.i. to 25,000 p.s.i. as vehicle 10 is plunged from 10,000 feet to a depth of 20,000 feet.
The resistance of the hull section to crushing forces at great water depths is much greater than the resistance capabilities of conventional hull sections of comparable weight and size because of the pretension stresses engendered within the tubular rings by the pressurant fluid.
From the foregoing it will be evident that the present invention has provided a multiple tubular ring bull in which all of the various advantages are fully realized.
What is claimed is:
l. A submersible vehicle comprising:
a. a rigid submersible vehicle hull section with a plurality of pretensioned structural tubular rings consecutively aligned on a common axis;
b. joining means for continuously joining together adjacent tubular rings, the joining means having a thickness equal to at least 75 percent of the tubular rings diameter;
c. nondynamic pressurant material captivated by the tubular rings and sufliciently pressurized to pretension the tubular rings for enhancing their capacity to withstand external pressures exerted on the hull section.
2. The structure according to claim 1, wherein, the tubular rings are of torus configuration.
3. The structure according to claim 1, wherein, the joining means include:
saddle blocks alternately arranged with respect to the tubular rings.
4. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the plural tubular rings include:
a plurality of adjacent outer annular strips aligned on a common axis;
a plurality of adjacent inner annular strips spaced radially inwardly of the outer annular strips; and,
a plurality of annular struts with outer strut edges coupled to adjacent edges of the outer annular strips and inner strut edges coupled to adjacent edges of the inner annular strips.
5. The structure according to claim 4, wherein;
the struts are parallel with one another and their planes intersect the axis of the outer annular strips,
the outer annular strips are bowed in cross section with their convex surfaces facing outwardly, and,
the inner annular strips are bowed in cross section with their convex surfaces facing inwardly.
6. The structure according to claim 4, wherein;
successive outer and inner annular strips diminish in diameter in a given direction in order to form a conically shaped hull section portion.
7. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the plural tubular rings include:
a plurality of adjacent outer annular strips aligned on a common axis;
a plurality of adjacent inner annular strips that are spaced radially inwardly of and longitudinally offset from the outer annular strips;
a plurality of first diagonal struts disposed between the inner and outer strips, the struts being slanted in a given direction not perpendicular to said axis; and,
a plurality of second diagonal struts alternately arranged with the first diagonal struts between the inner and outer strips, the second diagonal struts being slanted in a different direction than the given direction;
wherein the inner strip edges, outer strip edges, first diagonal struts, and, second diagonal struts are coupled together in order to form the tubular rings with triangular cross sections.
8. The structure according to claim 1, wherein;
the pressurant material is fluid, and;
a fluid pressure regulating system is coupled in fluid communication with the tubular rings to selectively vary fluid pressure inside the rings.
9. The structure according to claim 8, wherein, the regulating system includes:
a central manifold line coupled to branch lines through which pressurant fluid is distributed to individual tubular rings.
10. The structure according to claim 9, wherein, each branch line includes:
a check valve for admitting pressurant fluid to an associated tubular ring; and,
a vent line through which pressurant fluid is discharged back to the central manifold line in order to decrease pressure inside a tubular ring.
11. A submersible vehicle comprising:
a. a submersible vehicle hull section with a plurality of structural tubular rings consecutively aligned on a common axis, the hull section including:
a l. a plurality of adjacent outer annular strips aligned on a common axis,
a 2. a plurality of adjacent inner annular strips spaced radially inwardly of the outer annular strips and,
a 3. a plurality of annular struts with outer strut edges continuously coupled to adjacent edges of the outer annular strips and inner strut edges continuously coupled to adjacent edges of the inner annular strips;
b. nondynamic pressurant fluid captivated by the tubular rings and sufflciently pressurized to pretension the tubular rings for enhancing their capacity to withstand external pressures exerted on the hull section; and,
c. a fluid pressure regulating system coupled in fluid communication with the tubular rings to selectively vary fluid pressure inside the rings in order to vary the overall
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|U.S. Classification||114/341, 220/585|
|International Classification||B63B3/00, B63B3/13, B63B3/04|
|Cooperative Classification||B63B3/13, B63B3/04|
|European Classification||B63B3/13, B63B3/04|