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Monday, June 20, 2011

Weld Testing with Dye Penetrant

One of the NASA requirements for the pallet is to perform dye penetration tests on the welds to check for surface defects at the welds.  The kit used was a Crack Check Visible Red Dye Pentrant Inspection System made by  Dynaflux.  The surface of the weld is thoroughly cleaned, the dye is applied, allowed to penetrate (capillary action will draw it into cracks and crevices that are not visible to the naked eye), the dye is removed from the surface.  Once the dye is removed from the surface, any cracks or surface defects will then be visible.  The images below show the testing being performed, and the results.

Initial application of the dye
Dye removed from surface, showing a very good weld.
Results of testing, again showing a very solid weld.
End of one of the adjustable struts.
Close-up of results for one of the adjustable struts.  The area around the weld shows no dye present.
Again, excellent results for one of the adjustable struts.  No dye present at the weld!
This type of testing is known as non-destructive testing because you do not have to damage the part in order to perform the test.  Our goal is to perform DESTRUCTIVE testing on one of the struts -- pulling it apart in the tensile testing machine -- and on a duplicate of the pallet.

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