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Nondestructive testing is mandatory to assure the quality, reliability, and motor performance required by the solid propellant rocket motor industry. The motor performance desired demands minimum inert component weight and, therefore, precludes the luxury of wide material and design safety margins. Established techniques have been used where applicable, and new and advanced techniques have been evolved or modified for use. Extensive consideration and effort are being expended to develop automation and instrumentation for the readout and evaluation process so as to minimize subjective and qualitative interpretation of the test by providing objective and quantitative interpretation. Standards for evaluation of the test method used and th eitem produced are necessarily being upgraded. This correlation is found through direct measurement of specific properties, through experience based on past performance, or from destructive tests.
Nondestructive testing does not provide a specific method of solution for every problem; therefore multiple test methods are necessary to supply the information required to make an evaluation. This coupled with the current and anticipated problem areas emphasizes the need for a practical and sound nondestructive testing program for solid propellant rocket motors.
Mills, W. W.
Huntsville Plant, Thiokol Chemical Corp., Huntsville, Ala