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With the advent of the filament-wound glass fiber — resin pressure vessel, a material unlike any encountered previously was brought into the field. Metals and plastics having anisotropic structures have been commonplace, to be sure, but a two-phase system consisting of fibers of high tensile strnegth embedded in a matrix of softer plastic was a new situation. The old testing problems, such as physical property testing, thickness gaging, defect detection, and so on, were still present, but a host of new structural parameters requiring nondestructive examination were found to exist. In many instances the “tried-and-proven” non destructive test methods were ineffective for extracting needed structural information. A fortuitous exception to this was radiography, without which the entire glass fiber rocket motor case program would have been retarded.
Dane Harvey, E.
Staff Physicist, Allegany Ballistics Laboratory, Cumberland, Md