Expanite - the Danish pioneer of surface hardening of stainless steel and titanium - has provided ExpaniteHard-Ti surface coating for an autonomous underwater winch that provides continuous physical and biogeochemical data from the surface of the Arctic Ocean in the area of the Fram Strait.
Developed by the Alfred Wegener Institute, the winch will hover at a depth of about 150 meters on a long, anchored rope that rises vertically in the water. From this position once a day a measuring unit with different sensors will rise to the water surface and catch up again. The sensors will measure the water temperature, the salt, oxygen and carbon dioxide content as well as the chlorophyll fluorescence in the different water layers during the test run through the water column.
Accompanied by the designer of the underwater winch Dipl.-Ing. Normen Lochthofen and the anchoring specialist of the deep sea group Dr. med. Eduard Bauerfeind, test runs took place at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Infrastructure in Tjärnö, Sweden, as less than 15 minutes by boat from centre the water is deep enough for testing.
"The solution from Expanite is an essential part of our special winch," explains Normen Lochthofen. With the ExpaniteHard-Ti surface hardening, the stressed titanium components will withstand significant wear and thus prevent long-term use of the winch system. In addition to the increased surface hardening of up to 1,000 HV, the corrosion resistance of the material is improved at the same time, and use in seawater is made possible.
In the late summer of last year, the five week expedition took place in the Fram Strait between Spitsbergen and Greenland. "We launched two winch systems that will collect data over the next two years. Not an everyday project,” said Normen Lochthofen.
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