LEAK TESTING OF ELECTRONICS ENCLOSURES FOR NAVAL SUBMARINES

 

SITUATION

Tyne Pressure Testing partnered with a defence industry manufacturer to carry out leak testing of electronics enclosures installed on a manned underwater craft. Electronics enclosures are designed to house and protect delicate electronic equipment that would be damaged if exposed to water.

 

APPROACH

Hyperbaric testing chamber TPT 2, which has an internal diameter of 1.4m and length of 3m, was selected for the testing due to its ability to simulate pressures reflecting 1,000m below sea level. Where the electronics enclosures had glass frontages, racking was used to separate the components during test.

The electronics enclosures were initially subjected to a four hour test at pressures of 4.5 Bar, which equates to water depths of 45m, before being removed and inspected. The enclosures that passed the initial test were then subjected to a further one hour long test at 3 Bar, equating to water depths of 30m, before a final inspection.

In order to confirm that the electronics enclosures were suitable for use on a manned submarine, leak testing was required to check that the enclosures were leak-proof and would not allow the penetration of water whilst under pressure.

 

RESULT

During inspection, it became clear that only a small number of enclosures had passed the leak testing as the majority had signs of water penetration in the sealing system. This meant that the test was classed as a failure and subsequently the sealing system was redesigned.

The testing was overseen by our experienced on-site testing engineers alongside an on-site client witness, who was later provided with a post-test document pack containing raw test data and a test record sheet.

Paul R. Smith, CEO at Tyne Pressure Testing said: “This project was a fantastic example of the importance of physical testing to fully verify product designs. Tyne Pressure Testing’s facilities and expertise allow field conditions to be simulated prior to product use in the field.”

Our nine hyperbaric chambers provide the flexibility to suit various components in terms of both size and pressure. This, along with an inherent knowledge of testing requirements and standards that span electrical, buoyancy, sensory and operational componentry bound for the underwater naval defence sector, means Tyne Pressure Testing continues to be a preferred partner for suppliers of this industry.

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