NTS News Center

Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

NTS News Center - Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

New and Upgraded Aerospace Test Capabilities in Santa Clarita

As part of our continual effort of improvement, the Santa Clarita laboratory has just opened a revamped acoustic test facility along with a brand new vibration facility. It features two oversized doors to easily accommodate large test items and staging/prep area with an 8 ton crane.

The upgraded acoustic facility features:

  • 5,000 cubic foot Reverb Chamber
  • 1,400 square foot High Bay
  • Class 100k (ISO Class 8) Clean Room
  • M+P and PAK Closed Loop Control Systems
  • 100+ Instrumentation Channels (Microphones Accelerometers, Force Sensors, Strain Gages)

The new vibration facility features:

  • 2,500 square foot Vibration Facility
  • 15 Ton Crane
  • 2 Ling 340 Shakers 30,000 lbf ea.
  • Class 100k (ISO Class 8) Clean Room
  • Closed Loop Control Systems
  • 100+ Instrumentation Channels

NTS Santa Clarita is one of the largest test facilities in the U.S., covering over 150 acres. Whether you require small component level testing or massive complex system simulation, our mission is to streamline testing, verification and evaluation processes to reduce cycle time and bring your product to market faster.

Our technical experts have extensive experience providing a variety of complex test setups gained from our experience with major aerospace and defense related programs over the last 55+years. Click the here to request a quick quote and let us help you expedite your next project!

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersize X-Ray Analyzer (EDS) Technology now in Anaheim, CA

We are pleased to announce the addition of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) with fully integrated expanded Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analyzer (EDS) at our Anaheim, CA materials testing lab! This capability has been in place at our Baltimore, MD lab for the past year and clients have been thrilled with the high resolution imaging and range of acceleration voltages provided by this research-grade technology.

For those new to the technology, SEM allows for visual observation of an area of interest in a completely different way from that of the naked eye or even normal optical microscopy. The images generated by the SEM show greater contrast between organic-based and metallic-based materials and thus instantly provide a great deal of information about the area being inspected. Simultaneously, EDS can be used to obtain semi-quantitative elemental results  about very specific locations of interest.

Some common uses of SEM and EDS are contamination analysis, solder join evaluation, component defect analysis, inter metallic evaluation, Pb-free reliability, elemental mapping, tin whisker detection, and black pad analysis.

Click here to learn more about SEM/EDS. Contact our Anaheim, CA or Baltimore, MD lab to discuss your programs today.

California Plastic Bag Testing for SB 270

In November, voters in California approved Proposition 67 which bans single-use carryout plastic bags statewide, but allows Reusable Grocery Bags. Pursuant to the passage of Prop 67, the Reusable Grocery Bag Reporting System (RGBRS) was developed to facilitate submission of third-party certification to CalRecycle.

NTS Anaheim offers the required third-party testing and certification to meet the new requirements for reusable grocery bags and submission to the RGBRS system. Click here to request a quote!

NTS Awarded Research Grant from US Lacrosse Center for Sport Science

Lacrosse Game

The US Lacrosse Center for Sports Science has awarded new research funding to three studies that will investigate issues related to lacrosse-specific sports medicine and performance.

Research conducted by NTS Chesapeake will seek to measure lacrosse helmet performance degradation as a function of exposure. Test engineers Cameron Showell and Dr. Erin Hanlon will be evaluating the effects of environmental factors such as UV radiation and humidity on the performance of the helmet materials and components over time.

“As the national governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse, one of our highest organizational priorities is the advancement of player safety,” said Bruce Griffin, director of the Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse. “We anticipate that these studies will provide insightful scientific data that will help us better understand how rule changes to the game and educational initiatives can affect player safety, as well as how equipment can have an impact on safety.”

Singapore IDA changed to IMDA

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Singapore authority IDA has changed their name to IMDA (Info-communications Media Development Authority) and the labeling requirements have been updated to reflect the change accordingly. The transactional arrangement highlights are:

  • All dealer’s licenses and equipment registrations previously issued by IDA before October 1st 2016 will remain in force and will be deemed to be issued by IMDA. All conditions in the respective dealer’s license and equipment registration will remain the same (under Section 91(1) of the Info-communications Media Development Authority Act 2016 in force on Oct 1st, 2016).
  • Equipment registered or renewed before Oct 1, 2016 can remain the same IDA labeling on the existing stock if the labels are affixed before this date.
  • For the devices registered or renewed after Oct 1, 2016 shall bear the IMDA compliance label no later than September 30, 2017.

For further details, please refer to this document published by IMDA

Contact our NTS International Approvals Team at IATeam@nts.com if you need more information or assistance.

Automotive Paint Testing

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by Katie Higgs, Special Projects Manager, NTS Baltimore

From door dings to bird excrement, automotive paint must be durable and long-lasting. To ensure quality standards are met and untimely defects are prevented, manufacturers often have a list of required tests to qualify an automotive paint prior to production. Some of these tests may include:

  • Abrasion resistance to establish clear coat durability when abraded or scuffed.
  • Accelerated corrosion, such as salt fog, to replicate areas in which automobiles are exposed to road salt during winter driving conditions.
  • Accelerated weathering usually consisting of 1000-2000 hours of ultraviolet light and water cycling exposure at specific temperatures.
  • Chemical resistance to antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, gasoline, and other automotive-related fluids.
  • Environmental exposure using thermal shock and/or temperature and humidity conditions to hasten potential defects resulting from thermal / environmental changes.
  • Paint adhesion to demonstrate the susceptibility of the paint to separate from its substrate.
  • Paint (film) hardness to quantify the resistance to scratching
  • Paint thickness is a specific requirement for OEM’s, as too little or too much can cause a wide array of issues.

Along with the testing described above, obtaining “measurements” for the paint provides a means for basing process decisions off of quantitative results.  With that, two useful parameters to monitor for painted surfaces are color and gloss.  These parameters provide numerical values for color difference (ΔE) and gloss retention as a result of some type of environmental exposure. Quantifying how much an automotive paint system fades or deteriorates after such an exposure is crucial to maintaining customer satisfaction.

NTS Baltimore recently expanded their automotive paint testing capabilities with a purchase of an X-Rite Ci4200 Spectrophotometer to measure color.

Contact us today to discuss your automotive paint testing needs!

Howell Instruments of Forth Worth TX

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NTS Plano had the pleasure of hosting Byron Jones of Howell Instruments to conduct environmental testing for Howell’s new Data Acquisition Units. Howell’s client, MD Helicopters, requested more rigorous testing than Howell is able to conduct internally and turned to NTS for help to meet the DO-160G requirements. Howell was also lucky enough to be the first client to use NTS Plano‘s newest test chamber, the reverberation chamber!

The team at Howell shared their newsletter article about their test experience with us, and we liked it so much, we are sharing it with you! Click here to read the article. To learn more about our friends at Howell Instruments, visit their website at howellinst.com.

Evaluation of Accelerometers for Pyroshock Performance in a Harsh Field Environment

NTS Santa Clarita had the pleasure of assisting Anthony Agnello and Robert Sill of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., Patrick Walter of Texas Christian University, and Strether Smith with the pyroshock testing needed for their white paper “Evaluation of Accelerometers for Pyroshock Performance in a Harsh Field Environment”. Click here to review this white paper.

Click here to review the capabilities at NTS Santa Clarita.