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New Study: How Do Thermoplastics and Composites Behave in Deep Ocean Environments?

Results enable designers of deep ocean equipment to make more informed decisions.

The international plastic processor Röchling Industrial and Curbell Plastics, Inc., one of the leading US plastic materials suppliers, recently co-authored a research paper on the properties of thermoplastics and composites in Deep Ocean Environments. The study delivers details of how materials behave in deep ocean environments. The new results support designers of deep ocean equipment to make more informed decisions when specifying materials.

Thermoplastics and composites are being used for an increasingly wide range of deep-ocean devices. Their mechanical properties and water absorption characteristics in shallow water with low hydrostatic pressure are well understood. But what about deep ocean applications?

Existing deep ocean design literature stressed the importance of considering high hydrostatic pressure when choosing materials for deep water applications, but there was a lack of scientific research showing how plastics and composites performed in those conditions.

That is why Röchling Industrial and Curbell Plastics, Inc together wanted to deliver more insights on this topic. The new Paper “The Effect of Water Absorption During Deep Ocean Submersion on the Mechanical Properties of Engineering Plastics and Composites – an Experimental Investigation” delivers the engineering details of how polymers behave in deep ocean environments.

For this study, thirteen thermoplastics and seven composites, all manufactured by Röchling Industrial, have been pressurised in artificial seawater. The thermoplastics and composites were then tested to determine how this environment influences their mechanical properties. Report available at the website below.


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