RDSTS Team Builds Thermal Test Chamber

[vc_row][vc_column 0=””][vc_column_text]The chamber stands on the Bldg 65 main test floor, 20’ tall x 25’ deep with two independent cells, one 25’ wide and one 15’ wide. Each cell has an 8’ x 8’ door, two man doors, and a removable roof for larger test fixtures. For even larger tests, the center dividing wall can be removed, providing a single 25’ x 35’ test cell.The chamber provides spill containment, yet maintains access to the original test floor anchor points.

Testing will typically combine a structural load, induced by hydraulic actuators, and thermal load, induced by radiation using quartz lamps or graphite heaters. The steel chamber wall plates are bolted to the structure with gaskets to enable thermal expansion while containing a nitrogen purge. The inside of the walls are lined with rigid insulation and aluminum plates to keep the outside surfaces below 140⁰F while heating test articles above 4,000⁰F. The lining is configured to allow quick cool-down for safe access after a test and accommodates four rows of hard-mounting points.The structure can hold an internal pressure of 0.5 psid and contain a small blast, enabling testing of fuel-cooled panels and pressurized vessels. The chamber will be test-ready by the end of July.

Assembly of the Chamber Shell and Dividing Wall (Photo Credit AFRL)


Completed Thermal Test Chamber (Photo Credit AFRL)


Inside the Larger Test Cell, Ready for Power and Instrumentation Panel Installation (Photo Credit AFRL)