London software testing news UK

Acceptance testing is rocket science

Posted in Acceptance testing by testing in London on February 8, 2009


During acceptance testing of the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s hydrogen flow control valves (GH2 FCVs), used in the Orbiter’s fuel tank pressurization system, two of the valves experienced fracture of the poppet flange. The poppets are made of 440C, a high strength, wear- resistant , low ductility, martensitic stainless steel.

The investigation which was initiated to determine the cause of these failures is traced in this paper. All aspects of the poppet processing t hat may have introduced a defect were assessed.

This included machining, heat treating passivation, assembly, and test. In addition, several potential failure modes were investigated. These included static overload (particle impact), fatigue, and hydrogen embrittlement.

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