Aquariums & Specialty glazing
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Triton Submarines: Luxury in the deep sea

© Triton Submarines LLC

In the US state of Florida, deep sea submersibles are being developed for researchers and the super rich. The most important components are the diving domes made from PLEXIGLAS®, which still allow for a 360° view even at depths of 1,000 meters.

Triton Submarines LLC builds luxury submersibles for people and institutes with the corresponding seven-figure budgets. Accordingly, Triton’s customers are placing very high demands on quality and punctuality. In addition, the submersibles need to be capable of withstanding deep-sea dives – requirements that prompted Patrick Lahey, President of Triton Submarines LLC, to turn to Röhm and the PLEXIGLAS® processor Heinz Fritz in Herbrechtingen, Baden-Württemberg.

“These two companies saved us,” says Lahey frankly. “We needed perfect spheres and reliable service, otherwise we might have had to close down.” The ‘spheres’ are the crystal clear, round diving domes that are the typical feature of Triton submersibles.

Dives up to 1,000 meters deep

The wishes of the company were fulfilled. At a price of about USD 4 million for a submersible with a maximum diving depth of 1,000 meters, it goes without saying that the clients’ expectations are very high. “But our customers never actually ask about the price of a submersible,” says Michael Haley, Director Sales and Marketing at Triton Submarines LLC. “They just want to know what extras there are and whether the submersible will fit on their superyacht tender.”

The super rich are an important target group for the submersible manufacturer. Haley: “15 years ago nobody had a helicopter, and now nearly everyone owns one. Deep sea submersibles are the next big thing.” That’s why Triton is in contact with the shipyards where superyachts are built, so that either a garage for the submersible is included right from the start or the submersible is offered alongside as special equipment. This may sound very expensive, but Triton’s response to this is astounding. They say that a space flight would swallow up millions of dollars just for one single trip, whereas owners of a submersible could dive into the deep sea again and again – and 95 percent remains unchartered territory.

The all-rounder: Triton 3300/3 MK II

The 3300 MK II is the all-rounder in the Triton range. It can be used for leisure, research and filming: there is an equipment package for every purpose. The standard model seats three passengers, but there are also models with four or six seats, including one seat for the pilot. Weight: 8,000 kg; price: from USD 3.5 million; diving depth: 1,000 m; operating time: 12 hours.

© Triton Submarines LLC

The most agile Triton 3300/1

Extremely agile single-seater for diving to depths of up to 1,000 meters. The submersible replaces 20 divers in underwater work.

© Triton Submarines LLC

For groups: Triton 1000/7

The submersible weighs twelve tons and features six lighting systems each with 20,000 lumen – this corresponds to 120 100-watt light bulbs. The viewing dome of the tourist submersible has an internal diameter measuring 2.3 meters. Triton 1000/7 can carry six passengers and one pilot.

© Triton Submarines LLC

Two hemispheres

The super rich are not the only group that Triton Subs has in mind as potential buyers. Biologists, archaeologists and film crews also appreciate the panoramic view from the submersibles. And the company also offers special equipment and custom submersible designs for particular applications. The fact that Röhm and Heinz Fritz came to the attention of Triton Subs was all thanks to filmmakers Joachim and Kirsten Jakobsen, who operate a submersible in the Azores, where among other things they found a missing German submarine.

In 2012, the two companies developed a method for producing optically perfect and high-pressure resistant PLEXIGLAS® hemispheres for them. Triton’s spheres consist of two hemispheres that are invisibly joined together using an adhesive developed by Röhm. When it comes to quality, word gets around quickly in the small world of deep sea diving.

The production line

All systems are preassembled in the Triton Submarines LLC factory in Vero Beach...

© Röhm GmbH / Frank Preuß

The production line

... and then assembled piece by piece.

© Triton Submarines LLC

Diving to depths of up to 2,300 meters

For Wolfgang Stuber, the special glazing expert at PLEXIGLAS®, the spheres are a leap forward for Triton in terms of quality. “Our first hemisphere had a thickness of 14 centimeters, with Triton we have reached 22 centimeters.” In their current project, Röhm, Heinz Fritz and Triton aim to build a sphere with a wall thickness of 30 centimeters – the thickest transparent wall of acrylic glass that has ever been manufactured. This will make it possible to dive to depths of up to around 2,300 meters. Another project focuses on submersibles with seven seats that are to carry passengers on cruise ships to depths of 300 meters.

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