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NASA Engineers Crush Giant Fuel Tank

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:12 AM

NASA Engineers Crush Giant Fuel Tank To Improve Rocket Designs


www.nasa.gov said:

Think of it as high-tech can crushing. Only the can is enormous, as big as part of the largest rocket ever made.

During a series of tests from Dec. 9-13 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., engineers will apply nearly a million pounds of force to the top of an empty but pressurized rocket fuel tank. The test will eventually buckle and destroy the structure of the thin cylindrical tank wall while instruments precisely measure and record everything, millisecond by millisecond

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"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#2    keithisco

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:48 PM

What a waste of time and money :whistle:

"We" already have several excellent simulation engines that can give you exactly the same test results as can be achieved by physical testing. This has been proven innumerable times in aeronautics so this is nothing more than a window dressing exercise that will yield only predicted results from the Simulations. Of course, it will always be good PR for Joe Average to see a Big Can crushed.


#3    Frank Merton

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:52 PM

View Postkeithisco, on 10 December 2013 - 01:48 PM, said:

What a waste of time and money :whistle:

"We" already have several excellent simulation engines that can give you exactly the same test results as can be achieved by physical testing. This has been proven innumerable times in aeronautics so this is nothing more than a window dressing exercise that will yield only predicted results from the Simulations. Of course, it will always be good PR for Joe Average to see a Big Can crushed.
I dunno enough about the subject to have a view, except to say that sometimes it is good to do the real test rather than simulations.  Simulations are usually based on a long series of assumptions, which are probably all correct, but, then, again.


#4    keithisco

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:57 PM

It is always nice to have your simulations verified in real - life destructive testing, but a second destructive stress test is never necessary, it´s just good PR (expensive as it is).

Of course, you need to keep engineers employed, and engaged, until the next Project "Kicks - In" so a certain amount of this exercise will be designed to keep Engineers interested and not looking at other opportunities in the workplace.


#5    Einsteinium

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:03 PM

View Postkeithisco, on 10 December 2013 - 01:48 PM, said:

What a waste of time and money :whistle:

"We" already have several excellent simulation engines that can give you exactly the same test results as can be achieved by physical testing. This has been proven innumerable times in aeronautics so this is nothing more than a window dressing exercise that will yield only predicted results from the Simulations. Of course, it will always be good PR for Joe Average to see a Big Can crushed.

Look, I am an engineer and I understand why they are doing this. This is not a PR stunt. From the article, " The ultimate goal is to develop analyses and models that reflect the real-life test articles with extreme accuracy, so designers can use high-fidelity computer simulations and virtual tests to save time and money. "But we have to make sure that we ground those models in these carefully conducted real-world tests"  They want to fine-tune their simulation technology so that it better represents real life. This is more than just validating simulation data, it is using real data to create better simulations for future use. This is invaluable information that will allow for lighter and stronger future designs, something that current simulations obviously do not allow for due to inaccuracy.


#6    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:49 PM

View Postkeithisco, on 10 December 2013 - 01:48 PM, said:

What a waste of time and money :whistle:

I would think having the world's most powerful rocket disintegrate on it's maiden flight, in the full glare of the world's press, as a result of insufficient testing would be considered a waste of time and money.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#7    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:39 AM


Shell Buckling Test

NASA completed a series of high-tech can-crushing tests as an enormous fuel tank crumbled under the pressure of almost a million pounds of force, all in the name of building lighter, more affordable rockets. The rare test with an aluminum-lithium cylinder as large as a full-size rocket fuel tank was conducted inside the structural test area at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

Source: NASA/MSFC - Multimedia

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 06 March 2014 - 12:17 AM.
corrected source link.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#8    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 11:07 PM


SBKF Move to U. S. Space & Rocket Center

The Shell Buckling Knockdown Factor (SBKF) "Can Crusher II" test article is transported to the U. S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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