SCHOTT’s Electronic Packaging business supplies BAE Systems with the hermetically sealed power and control/instrumentation feedthroughs which provide protected electronic links between a submarine’s control room and its nuclear reactor. The feedthroughs pass through bulkheads and are sealed to protect against radiation leakage, giving absolutely vital information and control to the crew as to the temperature and status of the nuclear core of the ship’s power plant.
Contracted by the British Ministry of Defense, BAE Systems builds the complete line of Astute-class nuclear submarines for the Royal Navy in Barrow, in the North of England. SCHOTT was singled out for recognition because of their 100% on-time delivery and 100% quality performance of the penetrators for the 4th Astute-class submarine which will be named HMS Audacious. The award was presented in December at a special dinner at SCHOTT’s Electronic Packaging Business headquarters in Landshut, Germany.
“The large-scale feedthroughs are critical to boat safety,” said Dr. Oliver Fritz, Technical Manager for the Large-Scale Feedthrough Product Group at SCHOTT Electronic Packaging. “If there is any fault condition within the reactor, the environment can become very hostile. These feedthroughs have to protect the boat in all sorts of conditions.”
“SCHOTT’s performance under these extreme conditions, paired with our exemplary delivery achievements won us this award. We’re very honored to partner with BAE in this venture,” says Malcolm Bardsley, SCHOTT Electronic Packaging UK Sales Manager.
All large-scale feedthroughs on the Astute-class submarine are “fit and forget” and required to remain functional and hermetic for the service life of the boat, expected to be in excess of 25 years, with no need for maintenance or replacement. Indeed, considering that many warships stay in service well beyond their planned lifetimes, the extended life expectancy of the SCHOTT large-scale feedthroughs gives the Royal Navy an ample margin of safety.
Thanks to the technology of compression glass-to-metal sealing that SCHOTT has succeeded in perfecting by optimizing material combinations and manufacturing processes for these extreme applications, the company has captured a leading position in this market. SCHOTT started manufacturing the first glass-to-metal feedthroughs for nuclear submarines and power plants in the early 1960’s.
“We are very pleased with the quality of SCHOTT’s penetrators,” said Ian Burns, Head of Supply Chain Major Equipments and Astute Boat 4+ for BAE Systems. “These boats are more complicated than NASA’s space shuttle. SCHOTT was able to supply us with the best technology and gave us 100% on-time delivery with 100% quality and excellent flexibility in accelerating deliveries when the need arose. We look forward to many years of partnership with them”.
As a business unit of the international technology group SCHOTT, Electronic Packaging (EP) is a leading manufacturer of housings and other components for the reliable, long-term protection for sensitive electronics. The core technologies are glass-to-metal and ceramic-to-metal sealing, thermal sensing components as well as a variety of cutting edge specialty glass competences.
SCHOTT EP draws on 125 years of experience in the development, production and reliable supply of specialized solutions for its customers worldwide. With 1,500 employees at four production locations and several competence centers in North America, Asia and Europe, local customer support and co-developments for individual packaging solutions are at the heart of the business, serving the world’s leading manufacturers in the automotive, data- and telecommunication, sensors and semiconductors, consumer electronics, dental care, home appliances, laser as well as security and tracking industries.
Additional information: www.schott.com/epackaging