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Structures and Materials Division Research and Technology Directorate NASA Glenn Research Center

Tribology and mechanical Components Branch
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Tribology and Mechanical Components Branch - Facilities
Full-scale Non-Actuated Flow Fixture
Leak rates of seal specimens with diameters up to 60 in. outside diameter can be evaluated at temperatures ranging from -76 to 122°F (-60 to 50°C). The flow measurement system is capable of very accurately quantifying the leak rate of any non-flammable gas through seals and permeable materials. To quantify the reliability of the values reported, room temperature leakage values are stated along with the associated measurement error. A wide range of leak rates can be accommodated, and the accuracy of the reported value can be adjusted by customizing the system’s volume and the test duration.

  • Pressure decay-type leakage measurement system uses ideal gas law behaviors to achieve high sensitivity and an associated measurement error
    • 24 thermocouple temperature probes have an uncertainty of 0.036% each
    • Dual-pressure transducers are accurate to 0.7 F (0.4 C) each
    • Any non-flammable gas or gas mixture can be used as the test medium
  • Helium leakage measurement system measures total specimen leak rates at any operating temperature in sub-decadal ranges
    • Capable of measuring leak rates at background pressures from atmospheric to vacuum
    • Custom helium-to-inert gas mixtures can be used to quantify a broad spectrum of leak rates
  • Large volume test capabilities
    • Test section can accommodate seals up to 0.300 in. thick
    • Capable of testing seals at outside diameters up to 60 in.
  • Heat exchanger type temperature control system
    • Temperature range of -76 to 122°F (-60 to 50°C)
    • Capable of uniform and non-uniform temperature distributions
  • Environmental enclosure reduces relative humidity to less than 1% to minimize condensation during refrigerated temperature testing

Full-scale non-actuated flow fixture
Above: Photograph of full-scale non-actuated flow / compression fixture.

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Last Updated: April 21, 2009