NTS News Center

Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

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

Coming soon – The “Monster Machine” Massive Wave Simulator

From our underwater shot test quarry facility in Virginia to our 25 foot centrifuge in California, NTS has a tradition of “going big” when it comes to new test equipment. The engineers at our Hunstville, Alabama facility are keeping up with this tradition as they take delivery and work on the installation of their newest equipment, appropriately dubbed “the Monster Machine”.

The Monster Machine is a 20 foot tall, 32 foot wide, 16 foot deep wave simulation machine capable of supporting 30,000 pounds on a 14 foot square test table. Equipment under test will be subjected to 360 degree rotation at 6 RPM! The table can be adjusted to various radii enabling the center of rotation to be matched to the test article over a large range of adjustments. The large test table allows NTS to configure to test article as a package on the ground. Setup, calibration and pre-test is all done prior to lifting the package 12 feet in the air, eliminating physical hazards and making test article changes more efficient and expedient.

Will Roberts PE, Engineering Manager and his team have finished the primary installation and painting, the motor which will operate this machine is being installed now.  Contact the team in Huntsville to discuss this and other test capabilities.

Left to right on the floor: Will Roberts, Engineering Manager, Glenn Kalte, Chief Designer, Jim Birkholz, Senior Engineer-Drive Systems, Domenico Monastero , Senior Mechanical Engineer. On the Platform, Blake Rees – Test Engineer.

Holiday Bike Build in Silicon Valley

On Friday, November 17th our Silicon Valley location hosted over 30 people from both NTS and our customer Arista for a holiday bike build event. Four teams built three bicycles each for a total of 12 bikes donated to the local YMCA chapter.

The goal for each team was to work together to earn “build points” in order to collect parts to complete the bike build. Each team was given an iPad and had to solve riddles, take a picture or do a music video to collect the “build points.” Along with the 12 bikes each team created memories and putting smiles on the faces of children that wouldn’t have anything to play with this holiday season.. It was a great way to give back to our community and have fun at the same time.

Giving back to the community is a strong tradition between Arista and NTS. For the past 20 years events like this have been done in order to support and give back to the local community. With a focus on using local caterers and restaurants and local charities, both NTS and Arista find it very important to support the communities we work in.

If you would like to make a donation this holiday season click here.

FAA Fire Testing at NTS

FAA Fire TestFire and flammability testing is required for products used in a wide range of industries, NTS fire and flammability testing services typically fall into two categories: 1) ignition and flame spread, and 2) fire resistance. The Federal Aviation Administration calls out a number of standards NTS conducts testing to for our aviation customers.

FAA Fire Testing Specifications

  • RTCA DO-160 Section 26
  • ISO 2685
  • FAA AC20-135
  • FAA Powerplant Engineering Report No. 3A
  • FAR Part 25

Meeting these test specifications requires specialized burner equipment as well as customized fire rooms for the safety of the technicians, engineers and customers witnessing their test. The specifications call out various burn lengths, the distance from the original edge to the farthest evidence of damage to the test specimen due to flame impingement, and burn time to failure of components depending upon the component being tested, for example 60 seconds is the specification for interior compartments housing crew or passengers.

NTS utilizes liquid fuel burners, both vertical Bunsen type and horizontal (pictured above). The flame temperature for the burners reaches the required 150°F ± 2000°F (1100°C ± 80°C). The heat flux of these burners are at least 4500 Btu per hour (116 ± 10kW/m²).

Contact us today to learn more and discuss how NTS can help you with all of your safety-of-flight qualification testing! Click here to get started.

Package Testing

Package testing is a way of simulating the conditions a package can be expected to encounter during transit. In today’s increasingly global supply chains, packages and products will often cross wide geographic distances to get to market, moving through multiple stakeholders using different modes of transportation. A product or component’s packaging must be designed to withstand these environments.

NTS offers package testing to ASTM® and ISTA® standards, among others. We can help you protect your investment, reduce product loss and minimize risk during shipping and transport.

Why Invest in Package Testing?

Package testing has several potential benefits for manufacturers, including:

  • Package testing in a controlled lab environment is more reliable than trial and error.
  • Regular testing helps you understand your distribution environment, so you can make changes that reduce your exposure to hazards.
  • Testing methods and protocol can be reviewed and revised at any time, allowing you to respond in an agile manner to changing products, packaging materials and distribution hazards.
  • The information gathered from testing leads to smarter package design, which in turn helps you transport products in a safer manner.

Ultimately, these benefits will save you money and reduce shipping bottlenecks caused by damaged products and packaging failures. Ongoing investment in testing will deliver strong returns over time, making your business more stable and sustainable.

Common Modes of Transportation

An understanding of the conditions your package will encounter during transit is essential to designing a package test program. A package may be transported by:

  • Road
  • Rail
  • Sea
  • Air

As well, it may move through different vehicles and vessels and change hands between organizations several times during transit. A large part of package testing involves anticipating the impact these transitions will have on your product.

Industry Package Testing Standards

The diversity of conditions and stakeholders involved in transporting a product to its destination requires unified testing standards. The following organizations have established package testing guidelines for use by organizations in a range of industries:

  • ISTA
  • ASTM
  • IEC 60068-2-55

Package Testing Methods

NTS’ package testing methods include:

  • Vibration
  • Loose cargo
  • Freefall drop
  • Shock
  • Incline impact
  • Horizontal impact
  • Compression
  • Temperature and humidity

We can perform package vibration testing, loose cargo testing, freefall drop testing, shock testing and temperature and humidity testing to ASTM or ISTA standards. Our engineers can also design a custom testing program according to your specifications. Either way, our team will work with you to assess your requirements and deliver customized service.

ISTA Package Testing

The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) publishes guidelines for two types of package tests:

  • Performance tests, which assess the ability of a package to survive normal shipment conditions
  • Development tests, which measure the relative effectiveness of two or more package designs against each other

ISTA further groups these tests into seven different series, which vary according to the extent and depth of simulation involved, the weight of the product and several other factors:

  • ISTA 1 Series: Non-Simulation Integrity Performance Tests
  • ISTA 2 Series: Partial Simulation Performance Tests
  • ISTA 3 Series: General Simulation Performance Tests
  • ISTA 4 Series: Enhanced Simulation Performance Tests
  • ISTA 5 Series: Focused Simulation Guides
  • ISTA 6 Series: Member Performance Tests
  • ISTA 7 Series: Development Tests

Learn more about individual test series by contacting an NTS representative today.

HALT Product Design and Reliability Seminar

On November 10, 2017  join engineers and technicians from our NTS Chicago facility as they host an all-day, interactive seminar on HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) covering the basics, benefits and how it can help you determine your product’s reliability. Additionally, they will introduce other available tools designed to prevent early life-cycle product failure (e.g. HASS – Highly Accelerated Stress Screening) as well as share with you, answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on product reliability testing.

The seminar will run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at our Chicago, IL facility. Click here for more information and to register!

Expanding Capabilities in Rocket City

EMI testing Huntsville ALIt has been a busy time at our Huntsville, Alabama test facility! We’re added a number of new chambers, enabling us to expand our test offerings for our defense and aerospace industry clients.

We have added two EMI chambers to our EMI department, bringing us to a total of six MIL-STD-461 compliance EMI Chambers. Additionally, a third new chamber is on the horizon to replace one of our older, smaller chambers. All of our new chambers have a low sill height, which eases the installation process for larger equipment under test (EUT).

The Huntsville EMI facility now has the necessary amplifiers and antennas to allow MIL-STD-461 radiated susceptibility testing up to 40- GHz at 200 V/m. Additionally, new equipment has been added that enables us to perform the common mode test required by MIL-STD-461F/G CS114 in the frequency range of 4kHz to 1 MHz for items that are intended to be installed on ships or submarines.

To learn more about these and other testing at NTS Huntsville, contact us today!



Fuel Icing and Contamination Test Stand Goes Live in Santa Clarita

NTS understands the significant threat to aerospace fuel system components posed by ice and contamination, and that is why NTS Santa Clarita has just completed significant upgrades in its water in fuel, fuel icing and contaminated fuels testing capabilities.

Our novel, stand-alone, water in fuel/fuel icing test stand is equipped to perform testing in accordance with SAE ARP 1401 and MIL-F-8615D on aerospace fuel system components sub-systems and systems, along with our neighboring test stand designed to run contaminated fuel testing in accordance with MIL-F-8615D and SAE ARP-8615.

Our enhanced capabilities allow us to support aerospace fuel system component and/or system testing (including aerial refueling components and systems) with flow capabilities up to 500 gpm at 200 psig.  NTS’ design allows for the ability to perform both recirculated and single pass testing.

Fuel Icing / Water in Fuel Testing

Simply stated, water buildup within aircraft fuel systems becomes ice during changes in altitude, and changes in fuel demand can knock loose this ice, creating significant hazards to fuel system and engine components.  NTS replicates these conditions by injecting a known amount of water into the fuel, then cools the mixture to the required temperatures and flows through the test article.  The mission profile (e.g. Idle, Takeoff, Cruise, Descent, and Landing) is then performed at three temperatures, each representing a different physical state of ice with its own associated failure mode and samples are taken throughout the system to verify the water content meets specified requirements.

Contaminated Fuel Testing

Whether at a commercial airport or the most remote military airfield, contaminants can find their way into a fuel farm and into a plane’s fuel system.  These contaminants have the potential to cause parts to fail over time, whether through wearing out O-rings and seals, or jamming moving parts.  NTS’ test system is designed to test fuel system components’ resistance to failure due to these contaminants by injecting a defined amount and mixture of contaminants into the fuel stream or reservoir and sending this mixture through the test article.  The mission profile is then performed and leakage testing conducted to determine the performance outcome.

These state of the art capabilities, and our partnered approach to testing, uniquely positions NTS to provide you with the testing solutions you need to go to market with confidence. To learn more about the testing capabilities at NTS Santa Clarita, contact us today!

What the FOD? Foreign Object Debris Testing at NTS

“As defined in AC 150/5210-24, Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Management, FOD is any object, live or not, located in an inappropriate location in the airport environment that has the capacity to injure airport or air carrier personnel and damage aircraft.” via https://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/fod/

FOD can be a tool left behind, a piece of debris from a plane that recently departed, or a flock of geese. The presence of FOD is a significant concern for the safety of air travel. Airports, Airlines and manufacturers all play a part in the avoidance and minimization of FOD.

Testing systems and materials to determine their ability to withstand FOD is a key part of the development of safe airplanes. NTS conducts FOD testing at a number of our laboratories, including Tinton Falls, NJ.

The video below shows a 0.75 inch steel ball traveling at 187 mph hitting a 0.085 thick aluminum plate. The takeoff speed of the Airbus A340 and the Boeing 747 is 180 mph. The result is the 0.26 inch deep dent in the plate. The 747 outer skin, made out of aluminum alloy, is just 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) thick. Installed between it and the internal panels are soundproof and heat-resistant insulation materials. The wall is 19 centimeters (7.5 inches) thick.

Lightning Strikes!

Any electronic component is potentially susceptible to lightning damage. As sophisticated navigation and communication systems come to play a larger role in maintaining safe flight operations, lightning testing is an increasingly important part of quality control for both military contractors and avionics equipment manufacturers. Accurately replicating the effect a lightning strike will have on a device is the only way to measure its durability.