Carbon Fiber in the Air and Under the Sea – Episode 177
Todd Curtis and John Goglia discuss the use of carbon fiber in the Boeing 787 airplane and the Titan submersible. Prompted by listener questions, they explain why the carbon fiber is subjected to completely different – and riskier – conditions in the case of the sub that got international attention when it imploded on June 18, 2023.
The Titan accident is under investigation by American and Canadian authorities. The submersible used a novel design that included using carbon fiber to construct a major portion of the hull.
Todd and John compare the use of carbon fiber in a submersible compared to the use in aircraft, specifically the 787. They explain the radically different effects that a rapid decompression would have on an airliner at cruising altitude versus a catastrophic implosion in the depths of the ocean.
They also compare the unique design of the Titan with more traditional submersible designs. Two aspects that get the attention of these safety experts:
- Lack of a way to get in our out without removing bolts
- The vessel was not built in compliance with existing standards