COMPOSITE COWLING ON DEEP SEA CHALLENGER

News 7

Performance Composites manufactured the composite fairing used on the Deepsea Challenger, a submersible that completed a record-breaking dive to the deepest part of the ocean 35,787 ft at the Mariana Trench. This composite fairing holds the world record for the deepest ocean depth that a composite part has reached.

James Cameron's solo record-breaking descent of 6.8 miles (35,787ft) to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Deepsea Challenger was completed on March 26, 2012. James Cameron spent over 3 hours on the seafloor. The expedition is the centerpiece of Deepsea Challenge, a joint scientific project by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research.

Composite2 The Deepsea Challenger team hired Performance Composites to develop a composite laminate for the fairings that could offer unique characteristics including minimal water absorption at maximum depth (16,500 psi of sea pressure) and excellent impact strength and toughness. The key role for the lower fairing is to be a bumper to protect the crew sphere to absorb the impact with the sea floor in case the submersible loses control on the descent. The lower fairing also support the descent ballast weights, and has a garage door to let out the remotely operated underwater vehicle. This project was done in secrecy and completed under a very tight schedule.

The Performance Composites engineering team came up with the ¾” thick composite laminate to meet the structural requirements and to have less than 1% water absorption at the maximum depth at 32 degree F temperature. The laminate was made with 

submarine3polyester fibers fabric and a high elongation epoxy resin. The entire faring was vacuum infused in one piece. Performance Composites also designed and fabricated the master and molds for the upper and lower submersible fairings. The molds were designed with a sealing system to maintain 29.5" of vacuum during the vacuum infusion manufacturing process.

This impressive submersible was piloted by Cameron in his voyage down to the Mariana Trench, in the western Pacific Ocean near the Philippines. The voyage, the first of its kind in more than 50 years, hopes to give mankind a better understanding of the least explored deep sea environment.

Performance Composites was proud to be a part of the Deepsea Challenger team. The composite part that we produced hit the world record for the deepest recorded ocean depth that a composite part has reached.

Why Performance Composites?

  • Quality
  • High Quality Composite Manufacturing ISO 9001: 2015 certified
  • Receive composite parts that will consistently meet your specifications every time. We use high-quality molds, well-designed manufacturing processes, optimal composites materials, effective ISO 9001:2015 quality processes, and well-trained employees to consistently achieve 100% quality ratings from our customers.
  • Rely on us to supply all of your critical fiberglass composites. We are honored to be designated as a strategic supplier by many of our large OEM customers, and we have many customer partners for over 10 years.
  • Cost-Effective
  • Cost Effective Solutions Using Fiberglass and Composite Materials
  • Receive low cost, high performance composites and fiberglass parts that are value engineered and are manufactured using the most cost-effective materials and processes.
  • Reduce your overall part cost and improve product performance when we help you convert your existing designs from sheet metal or plastics to composites.
  • Save time and money by utilizing our efficient workforce and low overhead to perform your custom assembly.
  • Reliable
  • Reliable On-Time Delivery of Your Composite Parts
  • Receive your composite products on time! Our production team is dedicated to on-time delivery, and we consistently achieve 100% on-time delivery ratings from our customers.
  • Receive the fastest response time from the composite industry. Our typical production through-put time is less than 2 weeks.
  • Have your fiberglass composites products delivered on a "Just-in-Time" basis to help you minimize your inventory.
  • Rely on us to work with your Kan Ban system to simplify your order fulfillment and ensure your composite parts are always available.
  • Service
  • Superior Customer Service from our team
  • Receive excellent customer service. Performance Composites is structured as a service company that specializes in composite fabrication. We are committed to serving our customers and developing long-term mutually beneficial partnerships. Many of our customers have been partners with us for over 10 years.
  • Receive support from our experienced team on every step of the process from design, engineering, process development, project management, prototype development, composite product manufacturing, quality control per ISO 9001:2008, custom assembly, packaging and shipping. We will help you optimize performance, quality and cost.
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Company Information

Performance Composites is a full service composites manufacturer providing engineered fiberglass products to original equipment manufacturer (OEM). We offer engineering, analysis, design assistance, process development, tooling fabrication, composite fabrication, assembly, quality control and project management. Our goal is to provide high-quality fiberglass manufacturing, cost-effective solutions, superior service and on-time delivery.

Contact Information

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  +1 (310) 328-6661
  +1 (310) 782-3578
  1418 Alameda St Compton, CA 90221

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