Aquariums & Specialty glazing
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A submersible for tourists

© Triton Submarines / Add2Bee Creative

“All aboard, the dive to the reef will commence in 15 minutes!” This is how a truly unique holiday experience could start – in a panorama submersible with a cabin made from PLEXIGLAS®.

Those who have had the opportunity to see the amazing marine life with their own eyes can better understand why this habitat, with its dazzlingly colorful fish and coral reefs, has to be protected. But not everyone has the opportunity – or the courage – to put on a wetsuit, attach an oxygen supply and go for a dive. Wouldn’t it be great if there were sightseeing tours in the equivalent of an underwater bus?

This vision has now become a reality thanks to Triton Submarines and PLEXIGLAS®, the original acrylic glass from Röhm. The US company produces exclusive submersibles for private customers, adventurers and researchers. Upon commission from a holiday resort operator in Vietnam, Triton has now developed a large submersible for tourists which offers passengers a panoramic view. The Triton DeepView 24 can hold 24 passengers and two crew members, and dive to depths of up to 100 meters.

Spectacular panoramic view

A cylindrical pressurized hull made from transparent PLEXIGLAS® was used to create the cabin. “Passengers will engage with the ocean in a manner which far exceeds that of traditional tourism submersibles that feature restricted viewports,” promises Triton, describing the DeepView 24 as a “quantum leap in submersibles technology.” Passengers sit in an air-conditioned interior, but are (almost) a part of the ocean, as the PLEXIGLAS® cylinder offers a spectacular panoramic view.

PLEXIGLAS® is a more transparent material than glass, and it also does not fog up. Furthermore, its unique optical properties ensure the view is not distorted, allowing passengers to see the spectacular underwater world the way it really is – in the right colors and proportions. Another special feature is the material’s inherent UV protection and 30-year guarantee against yellowing, meaning that the optical quality remains intact for a very long period of time.

PLEXIGLAS® withstands extreme pressures

100 meters deep in a transparent tube? “Am I really safe in a submersible made from PLEXIGLAS®?” is a question some tourists may ask themselves before diving underwater. However, concerns are unfounded. “The PLEXIGLAS® 0Z00 block material used here can withstand the tons of pressure underwater, and also has additional safety reserves for the compression load,” explains Wolfgang Stuber, special glazing specialist for the PLEXIGLAS® manufacturer Röhm.

Triton Submarines, Röhm and its processing partner, Heinz Fritz GmbH, have enjoyed a long-term partnership and shared experience in producing viewports and diving domes for submersibles. Every PLEXIGLAS® block used in the construction of a submersible is subjected to a complex certification process, including pressure and tensile tests. “The great thing about original acrylic glass from Röhm is that it clearly exceeds the required values,” says Jakob Sixl, Managing Partner at Heinz Fritz. “We have absolutely no worries when it comes to this material.”

Underwater tourism

The Triton DeepView 24 has room for 24 passengers. The panorama cabin made from PLEXIGLAS® provides an unhindered view of the underwater habitat.

© Triton Submarines / Add2Bee Creative

Quantum leap

Triton Submarines describes the DeepView 24 and its spectacular panoramic view as a “quantum leap in submersibles technology.”

© Triton Submarines / Add2Bee Creative

Maximum transparency

This is where the exceptional optical properties of PLEXIGLAS® really come into their own. The material offers greater transparency than glass and provides a distortion-free view, seen here through the front window.

© Triton Submarines / Add2Bee Creative

A comfortable adventure

The PLEXIGLAS® cylinder has an interior diameter of 1.90 meters and features 14-centimeter-thick walls Passengers can view the underwater world in safety and comfort.

© Triton Submarines / Add2Bee Creative

Modular design for up to 66 passengers

The pressurized hull of the Triton DeepView 24 has an interior diameter of 1.90 meters, 14-centimeter-thick walls and is nearly 15 meters long. It is not made from one piece, but from four single cylinders that are later joined to form a single unit at the Triton facility in Barcelona. Each of these cylinders is manufactured in a complex process, in which the company Heinz Fritz forms, mills, polishes and joins two half-shells made from PLEXIGLAS® blocks. A single piece is used to create the front window, as well as a 360-degree window above the cockpit which serves as a lookout for the captain.

The modular design means Triton can offer DeepView models for between 6 and 66 passengers, as capacity can be expanded by simply adding more PLEXIGLAS® cylinders. “The manufacturing process remains unchanged. If Triton ever needs a DeepView model for 66 passengers, it can be built,” Sixl emphasizes.

Contribution to protecting the oceans

The DeepView 24 successfully completed its sea trials in March 2020, with tourist dives in Vietnam scheduled to begin in December. Triton anticipates an increased demand for underwater tourism. TV documentaries, such as the BBC production “The Blue Planet,” have triggered a fascination for the ocean’s habitats.

This includes Jakob Sixl, who has already had the opportunity of diving to a depth of 1,000 meters in a Triton submersible. “That was certainly an exe-opening experience! You are still on Earth, but it feels like an entirely different world. A camera robot which transmits live images from the ocean floor cannot convey what this really feels like.” Sixl hopes that tourist submersibles, such as the Triton DeepView 24, will sensitize more people for the need to protect the oceans.

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