Diving Suits

Nov 08, 1996

RAY: There are some factories in Russia and maybe other places as well, where the people working on the assembly line, so to speak, are wearing diving suits.

TOM: I got it. They're making submarines and they want to make sure everything works before they... no?...ok.

RAY: Not scuba outfits. They're wearing the kind Gilbert Roland wore when he went diving for sponges in Greece. Did you see that movie? The kind that screws on with the big brass thing, with the hoses. That's what the workers are wearing as they go on about their jobs, and yet they never go in the water. The question is why? The hint is they're making submarines.

TOM: Ha! I got that right. I made that up!

RAY: And the suits are not in case they fall into the water.

Answer: 
RAY: Here's the answer: They are making the hulls of the submarines. They use titanium, which has to be welded in an oxygen-free environment, otherwise it'll burn up as you weld it. So what they do is they bathe the whole area in nitrogen, which is inert, and of course they need to breathe so they pipe in the air through the diving suits.

Get the Car Talk Newsletter