Submersible connectors for high and low pressure

4th February 2020
Alex Lynn

It has been announced that SOURIAU has developed considerable expertise in the design and manufacture of robust and extremely reliable submersible connectors. Its dry-mate product ranges, for out-of-water mating, formerly known as Jupiter connectors, have been proven in both civil and military underwater applications for over 50 years. 

Now, SOURIAU also offers submersible connectors that can be mated underwater. For maximum safety and service life, the connectors, known as wet-mate, feature a special method of ejecting water from the connection interface, thus reducing the possibility of short-circuits or contact corrosion. SOURIAU offers a very wide range of innovative products, responding to the evolving needs of applications in very deep waters but also in shallow waters, at very high and low pressure.

M, the range of submersible connectors for large depths The challenges associated with the marine environment are numerous, because the equipment has to operate at ever greater depths, down to -7000 metres, and may remain submerged for long periods. In these types of extreme conditions, underwater connectors must withstand increasingly high pressures, resist corrosion and stay reliable, since maintenance operations at these depths are very tricky to perform. 

Resistance to high pressure is a feature commonly found in the submersible connectors available on the market. SOURIAU's M series connectors, widely recognised as the most robust underwater dry-mate connectors, are made from ‘marine’ bronze because of its resistance to corrosion and biofouling. They are also available in stainless steel (316L), titanium and even Super Duplex, a stainless steel with a high chromium content, for even longer immersion times. 

These connectors, initially developed for military applications, provide extreme resistance to straining or transverse forces on the cables as well as vibration and shock. For cable termination, sealing is ensured in several ways: for example, with a cable gland (pressure resistance up to 100 bar / 1500 Psi). This method eliminates the need for any resin glue or potting, so it has the advantage of being repairable. 

It can withstand depths of about 1,000m. For waterproofing down to 7,000m, overmoulding is preferred. These connectors are designed for applications such as remotely operated underwater robots, commercial diving, offshore oil wells and military submarines. 

A new version of the M+ connectors has just been announced for depths down to 7,000m (pressure resistance up to 700 bar / 4350 Psi on open face and coupled connectors), currently available in size ten and in size 14 at the start of 2020. SOURIAU has developed them to respond to the evolving requirements of the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) and AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) and UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle) submarine robot markets.

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