One of the challenges when working in the water is water pressure. Water pressure gets higher as you go deeper and can crush structures if they are not properly reinforced to sustain the pressure. Since we want to have the option of an underwater room, we need to be absolutely certain that the structure won’t be crushed by the water pressure.
Water pressure can build up rather quickly and can be stronger than you may think. As part of our testing for the underwater room, we built a small-scale dummy using scale materials and design. While this isn’t a copy of the underwater room, it will give us a proof of concept and allow us to see what kind of pressures we can expect the full-sized room to withstand.
Rüdiger built this small-scale replica and the crew took it out on one of our new boats to give it a test. We mounted weights to drag it down and cameras so that we can see exactly what happened underwater. We lowered it down off of the crane and got some interesting results.
We saw the first sign of trouble at around 19 meters when the first buckle happened. The total collapse and failure happened at 25 meters. The crash test dummy wasn’t built with the exact construction techniques as the full-size so it had some failure points that won’t be in the final product.
While this may look like a failure since it was crushed from the pressure, it is exactly what we wanted to see. When we scale up, we will be using thicker materials and stronger construction methods. Things like the windows and frames will add structural strength as well so the underwater room will perform better than this model and won’t ever be this deep so our testing tells us that we should have no problems standing up to the pressure.
We are very excited about this underwater room and we hope that we can make it a reality very soon. Living on the water is simply amazing… Imagine living under it. We hope you are as excited as we are and be sure to stay tuned for more updates coming soon!