What is Fluids and Fuel Testing?
NTS performs a wide variety of fluid testing across a large spectrum of pressure, temperature, and rated fluid flow, as well as combined testing programs on a vast array of aerospace fluid components and systems such as process air, bleed and ram air, fuel systems, hydraulic systems, high pressure systems and cryogenic systems.
NTS has the ability to test anything from heat exchangers, meters, sensors, valves and filters, to high pressure storage tanks (such as those on launch vehicles and satellites), and rocket test stand fuel systems utilizing any of the following: air, nitrogen, helium, oxygen, hydrogen, gasoline, all JP-family fuels (including all Jet-A variants), kerosene, Stoddard solvent, hypergolic, methane, Skydrol, red oil (and all other hydraulic fluids)cryogenics (liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen, liquid helium), ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and other substances. NTS also specializes in high flow testing of small devices – meters, indicators, totalizers, sensors, transmitters, check valves, lead detection of analytical instruments, checkout of pressure, temperature flow, pH/ORP and conductivity parameters.
Unlike many test labs, NTS has the unique ability to create combined environment tests that include conditioning the fluid (applying pressure, temperature & flow), and the ambient condition while exposing the test article to additional test requirements. Typical combined environment tests include vibration, shock, or flexure stresses on enclosures containing pressurized, flowing hazardous fluids. NTS operates explosion proof test cells in selected locations throughout the U.S. and provides decades of experience in aerospace fluids testing. Consequently, we are particularly well qualified to perform such severe environmental and hazardous flow tests as hydrogen flow at up to 5,000 psi at temperatures of -423°F to +500°F and Gaseous Nitrogen up to +1,500oF. Our team of experienced Fluids engineers bring an industry leading level of experience to solving complex and hazardous testing challenges, and NTS will partner with our customers to arrange any custom or specialized setup that may be required. NTS fabricates its own test set-ups and can reserve large buffer spaces in our labs to provide an extra measure of safety and security for hazardous materials.
NTS fluid testing facilities are equipped with computerized data acquisition, reduction and analysis equipment for monitoring the functional characteristics of specimens during testing. Customers can witness tests and work hand-in-hand with our engineers and technicians on the test setup and witnessing of the test from the safety of our control rooms. Through our LabInsight data exchange portal, customers can receive near real-time updates of test data to reduce internal data reduction and analysis time. Additionally, NTS offers extended shift (including 24 hour coverage) as well as weekend support when required. NTS also has the ability to support classified projects. Contact us for more details.
Notable test programs that NTS has been involved with in the past include:
- Major commercial aviation platforms such as Boeing 787, 777x, 737 Max, Airbus A380, Airbus A350, Gulfstream G500/G600, and many more
- Military platforms such as F-35, F-22, KC-46, UCAS, Global Hawk, CH-53K, and many more
- Major space platforms such as the Space Launch System (SLS), Space Shuttle, Delta IV, Titan IV, Falcon 9, and many more
- Supported a major engineering university to develop a custom application using our hot air & cryogenic capabilities to create unique temperature ranges as well as temperature ramp rates that no standard chamber can mimic (-300°F to > 800°F at a ramp rate of ~220°F/min)
- Custom thermal resistance applications including thermal resistance development testing at over 4,000°F
Fluid tests available from NTS include:
- Hydraulic/Pneumatic – Static/Dynamic
- Pulse/Burst Pressure cycling
- Flow – Gas, Liquid, Fuel, Propellant, Oxidizer, Chemical, Hazardous, Water
- Saturated Water and Steam (up to 2,800 psi)
- Temperature – High/Low Gas Flows including GN2 (2,500 psi and 1,500oF)
- Cryogenic Liquids (up to 6,000 psi) –Oxygen (LOX), Nitrogen (LN2), Hydrogen (LH2), Methane (LNG), and Liquid Helium (LHe)
- High Pressure Gases (6,000 psi) Oxygen (GOX), Nitrogen (GN2), Hydrogen (GH2), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), and Helium (GHe)
- Functional/Qualification Testing
- Thermal Cycling (up to 1,500°F)
- Temperature Variation
- Icing/Water in Fuel
- Efficiency – Filters, Flow Components
- Leak Detection – Helium Mass Spectrometer
- Thermal Shock
- Cryogenic to +1,500oF
- High Temp to -423oF up to 700 gpm LH2
Check out this article about our Testing with Liquid Nitrogen and Oxygen for the SLS program.
Fluid Resistance testing is performed to the following standards: ASTM D543, JDQ 53.3, Harley Davidson EG812-22611-118, RTCA DO-160, MIL-STD-810, SAE J1455, Ford WSS M2P185, Delphi/Delco Q1000, SAE ARP 8615, SAE ARP 1401B, MIL-F-8615D, and many more.