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Contamination in the fluid systems of aircraft and missiles is analogous to the presence of flaws in the structural members and may be equally dangerous. Service life of many components in modern turbine propulsion and control systems may be severely shortened by particulate contamination of fuels or hydraulic fluids. In fact, certain high-performance airborne systems are reported to be sensitive to the effect of single particles of a few microns in diameter. In recent years great emphasis has been placed on fluid cleanliness and the development of effective filters. Rather elaborate sampling and analysis procedures employing either microscopic sizing and counting or gravimetric methods are often used in the attempt to evaluate system requirements and to minimize the potential hazards of contamination. The need for more efficient and reliable fluid inspection techniques has been generally recognized. Basically, what is most needed is a nondestructive test applicable to dynamic fluid systems which would permit 100 per cent volumetric inspection. A desired objective is the detection, measurement, and counting of subsieve particles having maximum dimensions of 1 to 100 μ, that is indication of particles 4 × 10−5 in. or larger.
Albertson, Charles P.
Supervisor, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp., Long Island, N. Y.