Human-powered submarine receives 3M makeover @3M_UK

A human-powered submarine built by students at the University of Warwick received a professional makeover from 3M experts ahead of a global competition.

The science-based technology company, which is sponsoring the WarwickSub team, had been tasked with making HPS-Godiva 4 the best-looking contender in the European International Submarine Races, which will run from 3 to 13 July 2018.

Over five days of stripping, masking, priming, curing and painting, experts at the 3M Automotive Refinish Centre (ARC) in Atherstone, Warwickshire turned the single-person, pedal-powered vessel a fierce grey, 3M red and black using first-class 3M products.

3M applications engineer James Cavalot said: “It’s not often we get to work on a human-powered submarine, so we really enjoyed putting our skills and products to the test. We’re really pleased with the end result, which we hope will help the WarwickSub team to stand out in the competition.”

He added: “It’s great to be able to help the next generation of engineers with a project like this. They’ve all put in a tremendous amount of effort and come up with some really innovative solutions, so we’re wishing them all the best of luck for the contest.”

3M has sponsored the WarwickSub project for the past five years, providing services, products and expertise for each successive team.

Last year’s entry, HPS-Godiva 3, earned the 2017 WarwickSub team three awards at the International Submarine Races (ISR), held in Washington DC.

Ahead of the ISR 2017, 3M had carried out extensive work – including filling, sanding, polishing and painting – on Godiva 3’s hull, which was itself made using a resin filled with 3M glass bubbles to create maximum buoyancy.

The hull held up so well that this year only the new paint job was needed, giving the engineering undergraduates more time to focus on the submarine’s internal systems.

Olli Derham, WarwickSub finance manager, said: “The fact that the hull survived so intact after the last contest is a testament to 3M’s work and products. All it needed was minor touch-ups.

“We can’t thank the team enough. Quite aside from having access to their state-of-the-art facilities, services and products, being able to draw on 3M’s technical expertise has been invaluable.”