Reaction Control System Thruster Cracking Consultation : NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) Materials Super Problem Resolution Team (SPRT) Findings
- Shah, Sandeep R.
- December 2005.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Piascik, Robert S., Smith, Stephen W., and MacKay, Rebecca A.
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- The shuttle orbiter s reaction control system (RCS) primary thruster serial number 120 was found to contain cracks in the counter bores and relief radius after a chamber repair and rejuvenation was performed in April 2004. Relief radius cracking had been observed in the 1970s and 1980s in seven thrusters prior to flight; however, counter bore cracking had never been seen previously in RCS thrusters. Members of the Materials Super Problem Resolution Team (SPRT) of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) conducted a detailed review of the relevant literature and of the documentation from the previous RCS thruster failure analyses. It was concluded that the previous failure analyses lacked sufficient documentation to support the conclusions that stress corrosion cracking or hot-salt cracking was the root cause of the thruster cracking and lacked reliable inspection controls to prevent cracked thrusters from entering the fleet. The NESC team identified and performed new materials characterization and mechanical tests. It was determined that the thruster intergranular cracking was due to hydrogen embrittlement and that the cracking was produced during manufacturing as a result of processing the thrusters with fluoride-containing acids. Testing and characterization demonstrated that appreciable environmental crack propagation does not occur after manufacturing.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20060000024.
- No Copyright.
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