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Silent ANZAC secured with RPC’s GRP Hatch

21 July 2014

For the first time in 100 years, the contents of the World War I Australian submarine HMAS AE2 are being viewed after its hatch was opened in June 2014.

Its contents were filmed by AE2 Commemorative Foundation before being secured by a ‘top hat’ designed and developed by Australian-based advanced composite manufacturer and composites specialist, RPC Technologies.

The sub was the first to make its way through the Dardenelles’ minefields and forts as the Anzacs landed.

Known today as the “Silent ANZAC”, it sits upright in 73 meters of water in the Sea of Marmara where it fell in battle on 30 April 1915.

The Foundation approached RPC to design and manufacture a replacement conning tower hatch in Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP). The hatch had to be securable to prevent unauthorised entry by divers while allowing similar water flow and access of marine creatures as provided by the original hatch.

John O'Brien, RPC's Maritime Business Development Manager, coordinated the RPC design and build.

"The impressive strength to weight characteristics of composite materials made GRP a natural choice for the top hat. GRP also offered the lifelong corrosion resistance needed in an underwater environment as well the strength to properly secure the vessel from unauthorised entry" said John.

James Zegir, RPC's Defence Technical Manager and designer of the top hat said: "Composite materials, like GRP give us the ability to produce complex shapes to enable multiple components to be moulded into one part which also helps to save on weight and helps reduce manufacturing costs".

The Silent ANZAC project has been an extraordinarily successful collaboration of experts, all volunteers, drawn from Australia, USA and Turkey.

Tony Caristo, RPC Managing Director said: "We are fortunate as a company to have some of the world's leading composite engineers to draw upon when faced with design challenges like the top hat".


Media Contact Details::
Elena Zaballero
RPC Marketing & Communications Manager
(p): (02) 9624 9823