Verification Testing of Conjugate Structure
MARTIN MARIETTA AEROSPACE DENVER CO
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The conjugate structure consisted of a forward skirt, forward dome, forward barrel, common dome, aft barrel, aft cone and aft skirt. The forward and aft barrel sections were made of titanium roll diffusion bonded truss core panels. The conjugate structure was delivered to the Martin Marietta Corporation, Denver Division for structural testing to demonstrate its ability to withstand design conditions by a subjection to limit loads and limit internal tank pressures. Martin Marietta Corporation Receiving Inspection identified structural discrepancies which brought about a change in the test contract. Instead of the originally planned three test conditions, the conjugate structure was subjected to a detailed inspection and a structural repair operation, and the test portion was modified to include five test conditions. The first two of these test conditions were completed. A visual and radiographic inspection, made after the completion of the second test, identified seven areas of structural failures. One failure, a 42.5 in. long crack in the inner weld of the aft tank barrel to the lower Y-ring circumferential weld joint, was severe enough to prohibit continued testing. The tank barrel sections, made up of roll-diffusion- bonded-truss-core, successfully carried the design limit loads and internal tank pressures associated with the two test conditions.
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