Page 38 - Australian Defence Magazine Aug 2019
P. 38

DST Group was key in developing a number of materials technologies for the Collins class.
Deep dive into underwater
WHILE later builds may eventually benefit  resistant to withstand constant immersion from technical developments such as addi- in salt water, and have low-level magnetic tive manufacturing using 3D printing, the  properties to ensure low likelihood of de-
Although the detailed design of the RAN’s Attack- class Future Submarines will not be finalised until 2026, Defence scientists have already been working for nearly a decade
on understanding and assessing the materials likely to be used in their construction.
focus of specialists within the Maritime Di- vision of Defence Science and Technology (DST) remains very much on the materials that are currently in the process of selection, and ensuring they are fit for purpose.
Producing the steel alloy for the hull structure is one of the most challenging as- pects of submarine construction.
DST points out that this material has to be capable of withstanding the stresses bearing on it as a result of submarine ma- noeuvres and underwater explosions. It and the welds used to join sections must have strength under tension and compression at all relevant thicknesses of plate, and it must exhibit high fracture toughness.
The material also needs to be corrosion
tection by electro-magnetic sensors.
“We’ve had a program running from the early days of the Future Submarine program, looking at certification of Future Submarine steel,” Dr David Kershaw, Chief of DST’s
Maritime Division explained to ADM. “This program has involved us under- standing the fundamental properties of potential submarine steels, going out and doing blast tests to ensure that the two overseas steels that are being used for sub- marines, and in particular the steel that has been developed in Australia, are able to meet the strength requirements for our Fu-
ture Submarine.”
DST’s involvement with submarine steel
actually stretches back more than three
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