It’s well documented that the sea hides many billions of pounds worth of lost riches just waiting to be claimed, and there are many adventurous souls out there who are willing to take on the challenge. But treasure hunting in deep water throws up unique challenges in terms of equipment. The high pressures and corrosive nature of the sea water means that only the hardiest of components are suitable for use. Now a manufacturer of underwater detection equipment has used TeeTube connectors from Hylec-APL for its latest product design
Aquascan International Ltd. is a manufacturer of underwater metal detection equipment and magnetometers. The equipment is used by hobbyists and professional treasure hunters, as well for commercial operations in a host of industries. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Aquascan is well aware of the intense pressures that its equipment is subjected to on a daily basis.
An Aquascan International Ltd. representative comments: “It’s not unusual for our products to be taken as deep as 100m below sea level. The pressure levels at this depth are 11bars, or 11 times greater than the pressure exerted at the surface. Traditional IP68 components aren’t able to cope with these pressures so we need to find reliable components which we can then modify for the unusual environment. The large quantities of salt found in the water can also present a problem because it is so corrosive, so it’s fair to say that only the toughest components are selected for our products.”
During the development of its latest product, a specialist piece of equipment which will allow divers to make electrical connections while underwater, Aquascan approached Hylec-APL to specify an electrical connector which would meet its requirements. Because of the small footprint of the product’s design, the connector needed to be compact while providing reliable connections. It also needed to offer corrosion protection and be suitable for further customisation by the company.
Fortunately Hylec-APL was able to recommend the TeeTube connector, part of its patented Tee family of waterproof products. Unlike traditional connectors, which are cumbersome and require tools to open and close, the TeeTube uses dome-topped cable glands to form a completely watertight seal (IP68 up to 5bar) which can be easily adjusted by hand. To further lend itself to the application, it is constructed from polyamide which makes it resistant to the corrosive qualities of the sea water.
The fully approved, all-weather TeeTube is available in a range of sizes, including the Mini-TeeTube, and both 2 and 3-way cable entry versions. High integrity TPE-V seals provide protection and ensure reliability, accommodating different types of commercially available cable up to 17mm diameter max (depending on product). The TeeTube can also be supplied with a transparent polycarbonate barrel, which offers the opportunity of making the wire connections visible without having to disassemble the unit.
Aquascan’s representative continues: “While the TeeTube offers superb ingress protection up to 10m, we had to add further protection to make them suitable for our application. This involved filling them with an epoxy resin to ‘pressure proof’ the products. The components are easy to install and form a compact and aesthetic connection. Their tough construction makes them ideal for use in the sea water jointing application.”
For more information about TeeTube connectors from Hylec-APL, please go to www.hylec-apl.com/.