Navy surface ships are equipped with acoustic sensors which are made from a combination of materials including ceramics and metals. These sensors operate in the water and are thus exposed to the harsh effects of corrosion and marine growth. For their proper functioning, these devices must be pulled from the water, disassembled, cleaned, and redeployed. However, the disassembly of component pieces is difficult and often results in damage or breakage as fragile ceramic pieces are separated from metal pieces.
The Navy has developed a tool to separate mating ceramic and metallic parts of an acoustic sensor quickly and efficiently. The four-piece device includes a threaded hard tube with two holes cut in each side. Within those holes, wedges are placed. The tube and wedges are secured inside the acoustic sensor and a hex-head bolt with a pointed end is threaded into the tube. The point of the bolt engages the wedges and pushes them outward thereby engaging the ceramic pieces of the sensor and separating them from their metal base component.
- Component pieces are separated from the interior of the sensor by laterally forcing them apart thus avoiding prying motions which can result in cracking or chipping the ceramics
- US patent 7,774,913 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers