What is Shock Testing?
Shock testing of products and materials determines to what degree items can physically and functionally withstand relatively infrequent, short time, moderately high-level force impulses or temperature changes that would be encountered in handling, transportation, and service environments. Vibration testing, on the other hand, determines the extent to which items can withstand mechanical vibrations.
Mechanical Shock Testing
Mechanical shock testing typically involves subjecting a test device to sudden and extreme amounts of acceleration or deceleration while instrumentation, such as strain gages, load cells, piezo sensors and more. The goal of the test is to measure the device’s response. Multi-channel, wide-band data acquisition systems produce documentation, wave shapes, and spectrum presentations using this sensor data. Engineers then analyze the recorded response to determine performance.
At NTS, we perform mechanical shock testing using the following methods:
- Pyrotechnics to simulate pyro-shock — Pyro-shocks are often encountered in spacecraft flight when rocket booster stages are separating and in military applications when weapons are being fired or ordinances are being detonated.
- Drop Testing — this occurs up to 80ft (24m) for testing the resilience of items against mishaps that could happen during transportation, handling, and expected use.
- Drop towers to induce mechanical shock — Our drop towers are able to deliver peak acceleration in excess of 20,000g (196,000 m/s2).
- Air gun generated hydroshock — In this type of test, an air gun fires a blast of air into a volume of water to generate shock waves within that volume of water.
- Free-fall and variable force test techniques — These techniques produce shocks up to 15,000g (147,000 m/s2).
- Shipboard shock testing to MIL-DTL-901E.
- Simulated catapult launch/arrested landing per MIL-STD-331.
Temperature Shock Testing
Thermal shock occurs when devices are forced to undergo rapid temperature changes between extremes. Temperature swings can cause materials to become brittle or cause damage as different materials change size and shape during temperature changes.
At NTS, we utilize a variety of test chambers capable of rapidly altering temperatures of test devices. By using a variety of sensors, we can ensure that test devices actually match their temperatures with their surroundings during thermal shock testing.
What is Vibration Testing?
Vibrations have been known to cause excessive wear, loosen fasteners, loosen connections, damage components, and cause devices such as optical equipment to malfunction. For any piece of mobile equipment to be functional, it needs to withstand some vibration. Equipment designed for rugged or hostile environments needs to withstand a lot of vibration without breaking down or wearing out prematurely. And the only way to know if something will withstand its intended application is to test it accordingly.
Since exotic profiles are our specialty, NTS can carry out the required testing. In the last 40 years of shock and vibration testing, we have successfully tested electrical components, black boxes, antennas, hydraulic components, material samples, and complete structures under all sorts of exotic and extreme conditions — such as shock induced by gunfire, ordnance-induced shock, and more.
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