Some companies are able to keep pushing the boundaries of ‘the possible’. Allseas from Delft plans to harvest polymetallic nodules at 4.5 km water depth with a state-of-the art Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which will collect the minerals from the seabed and transport them up to its storage vessel at the surface. However, the seabed on which the ROV will operate is very soft, so it essential that the vehicle is as lightweight as possible. For its base case, subsea specialist Allseas designed a “Collector” with a light steel structure. However, in thinking “light”, aluminium was also on their radar: to what extent would an alternative, lighter solution in aluminium be able to cope with the unique challenges encountered at 4.5 km water depth?
As an aluminium specialist, Highrise Design is proud to have been approached by Allseas’ technical team to come up with an aluminium alternative solution. With effective collaboration, all relevant design aspects such as the prevailing water pressure, required corrosion resistance and desired structural strength were incorporated into our thinking, resulting in the delivery of a “complete” alternative design for the vehicle’s main structure, entirely within the available “space claim” of Allseas’ machinery. Thanks to our design conversion, Allseas can now select the most optimal solution for the efficient collection of polymetallic nodules at 4.5 km water depth!