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Application of Titanium Material on Nuclear Submarines in the Former Soviet Union

  • 2020-09-28

Application of Titanium Material on Nuclear Submarines in the Former Soviet Union--I

From 1963 to the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the former Soviet Union built a total of IV Grade 24 whole-titanium alloy attack nuclear submarines, including 7 of "Alpha" Class, 1 of "Mike" class, 4 of “Serra”Class II Type,  12 of "Typhoon" class II Type.

1. The "Alpha" Class uses a lot of new technologies, majority of titanium alloy materials were used, creating a number of the First in the history of the nuclear submarines constrution in the former Soviet Union, it came out on the widespread concern of the international community. Hull with double-layer high-pressure housing, pressure housing using titanium plates, titanium plates not only had good toughness, but also had a high strength, can resist the shock wave caused by depth bomb explosion; the most amazing place in the world of "alpha" level is its set of large depth and high speed together, its max depth can be 914 meters, underwater speed 42 section of the hull, it was the world's first. The hull was designed to be Whale-type water drop-type to reduce drag, benefit by using titanium alloy in high-pressure housing.

There were reports showed that the United States Navy in the spring of 1979 for the first time found the “Alpha” class nuclear submarine can dive into the deep sea of 900 meters was not to know what to do, then the types of torpedoes were not even up to the depth, simply can not attack it. In addition to the housing using titanium alloy, the boat interior extensive use of titanium pipes, titanium valves and titanium alloy accessories, heat exchange plates and pipes, Power Drive propeller and paddle shaft (compared to the corresponding special copper alloy before the use with the same speed, weight reduction about more than 50%, life more than 5 times of the copper alloy), sonar shroud on the submarine, torpedo launch systems and other key components are using titanium alloy, making the amount of titanium per boat reaches a milestone of 3000T, in order to ensure that the “Alpha” class nuclear, it was known as “ A nuclear Submarine ahead of Its Time".

2. The "Mike" level, referred to as "M" level. The class boat built only one, in 1988 officially incorporated into the former Soviet navy active service, in the same year was named as “Excellent Boat”, and was awarded the “Komsomol” boat name (that is, later the accident of the famous "Komsomol"). The boat used a whale-type Water Drop-type design, the shape resembles a torpedo. Double shell structure, external pressure housing using titanium alloy material, like plates, inner and outer shell spacing was large, divided into seven compartments.The reactor on board the boat used a pressurized water reactor, the engine disc and rotor blades, pipes, valves and their accessories, heat exchange plates and pipes are made of titanium alloy material. Ship installed navigation systems, search radar, sonar (titanium alloy shroud); weapon systems compared to “alpha” level also increased significantly, with six torpedo launch tubes (titanium alloy material launch tube, improve the strength of the launch parameters and other performance is greatly improved), it can launch a variety of weapons: such as cruise missiles, anti-submarine missiles and torpedoes, greatly enrich the means of attack submarines, improveDuring the experimental operation, the boat dived to a depth of 1250 meters, setting a world record for the depth of combat submarines at the time. It can be said that in the boat brought together the latest titanium alloy technology achievements of the former Soviet Union at that time, for the subsequent construction of nuclear submarines provides a lot of valuable experience. Later, the accident was caused by human error caused by the circuit system on fire, not the submarine's own design and material reasons.