Waterproof Towed Array Hosewall
Navy SBIR FY2014.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2014.1
Topic No.: N141-056
Topic Title: Waterproof Towed Array Hosewall
Proposal No.: N141-056-0451
Firm: Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road
Austin, Texas 78733
Contact: Rock Rushing
Phone: (512) 263-2101
Web Site: www.tri-austin.com
Abstract: High moisture permeation rates through hose wall materials are a primary failure mode for the design currently used in fat line towed arrays. These premature failures are extremely costly in terms of repair, and the loss of sensors in the towed array impacts submarine mission capability. The high moisture permeation rates are related to the composition of the TPU matrix resin and hosewall reinforcement. The research objective in this Phase I effort involves the development of materials and processes to reduce water permeation while maintaining hose mechanical and acoustic properties. By decreasing the polarity of the polymer backbone, significant decreases in permeability can be realized. The innovation to be investigated involves the incorporation of elastomeric materials that have a high level of hydrocarbon character that will mitigate moisture permeation rates associated with the currently used polyether based TPU. TRI/Austin will be teaming with a major towed array supplier with the goal of rapid insertion of the developed moisture resistant elastomers into existing and planned arrays. The projected improvement in decreased water permeation through the hosewall is expected to be a factor of 200 to 1,000, depending on the design configuration.
Benefits: The new towed array hosewall material will lower ownership costs for submarine fat line towed array systems. Lower costs can be realized for other Navy towed array assets with this technology. Commercial areas for the products will include offshore oil production and seismic exploration applications.