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NTS Santa Clarita Adds Static Firing of Initiators to Testing Capabilities

July 28, 2014

Engineers from National Technical Systems Santa Clarita facility working in conjunction with one of our valued customers, recently developed tooling and techniques for measuring the parameters of a pressure pulse produced when through bulkhead initiators (TBIs) are fired.

Static Firing
Firing bomb components

NTS was tasked with creating a secondary entity to verify pressure data supplied by the TBI manufacturer. Our engineers worked closely with the client in making modifications to an existing industry tooling design leading to accurate and highly repeatable pressure versus time data. The team also developed a breakwire system which enabled the start point of the initiator detonation to be precisely identified in the pressure data.

test setup
Test Setup

The verification of pressure versus time was the final phase in a multi-test Service Life Extension program for the TBIs which included a full range of testing including thermal cycling, vibration testing, and helium leak checks.

NTS technical staff worked nights and weekends to shorten the program from four weeks to three. This agressive schedule combined with competitive pricing demonstrates the versatile nature of NTS Santa Clarita service offerings.

Techniques and tooling developed for this program could be utilized as a guide for similar testing of additional ordnance devices. This technology is fully transferable to any NTS facility possessing an explosives license such as:

  • Boxborough, MA (limited)
  • Camden, AR (unlimited)
  • El Segundo, CA (limited)
  • Fullerton, CA (limited)
  • Huntsville, AL (limited)
  • Plano, TX (limited)
  • Rustburg, VA (unlimited)
  • Santa Clarita, CA (limited)
  • Tempe, AZ (limited)

Limited: Restricted to small amounts of explosive typically less than 1 pound.
Unlimited: Storage or non-functional testing of larger amounts of explosives, 50 to 100 lbs. 

For additional information on how NTS might be able to apply these new developments to your project please contact our Santa Clarita facility at 661-259-8184.

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