3M-sponsored submarine wins hat-trick

A human-powered submarine built by students at the University of Warwick and sponsored by 3M scooped three awards in a global contest. The WarwickSub team pitted its vessel, HPS-Godiva 3, against 22 others at the International Submarine Races (ISR), which took place in Washington DC.

For their design report, the engineering undergraduate finalists took home the title for Best Design Outline. They also won Best Use of Composites, for their innovative use of recycled carbon fibre in the single-person, pedal-powered machine’s hull. Finally, in a 100-metre straight-line dash, Godiva 3 clocked a top speed of 2.52 knots, earning it the third-place speed award for its category – ‘One person, Propeller, College’.

Throughout the project, the team was supported by science-based technology company 3M, which provided technical expertise, labour, facilities and products. In May, 3M experts spent two weeks working full-time on the 2.8-metre-long hull at the company’s state-of-the-art Automotive Refinish Centre (ARC) in Atherstone, Warwickshire.To optimise the submarine’s performance and aesthetic, they used various 3M products to prepare and paint the body, including abrasives, polishes, adhesives and paint systems.

Michael Andronicou, WarwickSub business development manager, said, ‘We couldn’t be happier with the competition’s outcome. Godiva 3 has become like our baby, so we’re extremely proud. 3M’s support has been pivotal to our success. The company’s materials and technical advice helped us to overcome many challenges during the design and manufacturing phases. What’s more, if there had been an award for the best-looking contender, there would have been no contest, thanks to 3M’s amazing paintwork. I don’t think there was anyone who saw Godiva 3 without double-taking.’

3M applications engineer James Cavalot, who worked on the submarine together with 3M engineering technician Clive Cooch, added, ‘It was a privilege to lend our skills and expertise to such a great project, and we’re delighted that the WarwickSub team achieved such outstanding results at the competition, which they thoroughly deserved.’