Design, manufacturing, and testing of an improved watertight door for surface ships

Stephen M. Copley, Edward W. Reutzel, Terri A. Merdes, Dennis B. Wess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Designed in the 1950s to be watertight during flooding and airtight under normal operating conditions, the Navy standard watertight door for surface ships is inexpensive to manufacture but expensive to properly install and maintain. Furthermore, by today's requirements, it is too heavy. The need for a lightweight, affordable, low maintenance watertight door led to a collaborative project involving the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State University, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station, and Northrop Grumman Corporation Newport News to design, fabricate, and test an improved watertight door for surface ships. The design and manufacturing of this door is entirely new and based on advances in laser cutting and welding technology. Its novel design reduces the number of dogs (latches) and linkages of the Navy standard watertight door, decreasing the weight of the complete door assembly from 290 to 213 lbs. The door is fabricated from corrosion resistant stainless steel, and its opening and closing forces are extremely low, reducing the potential for mechanical and gasket wear. Pending successful completion of certification testing and with technical warrant holder approval, the new door will offer an attractive choice for insertion by Acquisition Program Managers and Fleet Maintenance Managers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-103
Number of pages11
JournalNaval Engineers Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering


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