Volume 6, Issue 8 (September 2009)
Adiabatic Compression Testing—Part II: Background and Approach to Estimating Severity of Test Methodology
Adiabatic compression testing of components in gaseous oxygen is a test method that is utilized worldwide and is commonly required to qualify a component for ignition tolerance under its intended service. This testing is required by many industry standards organizations and government agencies; however, a thorough evaluation of the test parameters and test system influences on the thermal energy produced during the test has not yet been performed. This paper presents a background for adiabatic compression testing and discusses an approach to estimating potential differences in the thermal profiles produced by different test laboratories. A “thermal profile test fixture” (TPTF) is described that is capable of measuring and characterizing the thermal energy for a typical pressure shock by any test system. The test systems at Wendell Hull and Associates, Inc., in the United States and at the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing in Germany are compared in this manner and some of the data obtained are presented. The paper also introduces a new way of comparing the test method to idealized processes to perform system-by-system comparisons. Thus, the paper introduces an “idealized severity index” (ISI) of the thermal energy to characterize a rapid pressure surge. From the TPTF data a “test severity index” can also be calculated so that the thermal energies developed by different test systems can be compared to each other and to the ISI for the equivalent isentropic process. Finally, a “service severity index” is introduced to characterize the thermal energy of actual service conditions. This paper is the second in a series of publications planned on the subject of adiabatic compression testing.