Texas Research Institute, Inc. (TRI/Austin) has provided Reliability Engineering Services for over 30 years to Government and Commercial clients. These include Accelerated Life Testing, Materials Testing; Design, Stress and Failure Analyses; Failure Modes and Rate Modeling and Lifetime Reliability Prediction. If a single word were chosen to describe TRI’s overall business charter, that word would be Reliability, since that is a primary focus of our product developments, engineering services and our extensive testing capabilities. Although initial program areas focused on “Making the Navy Work Better,” we have continued to help an expanding list of customers characterize the attributes of their products to ensure confidence in design selections and, as importantly, to make product improvements. Key personnel involved with Reliability have over 150 years of combined experience at TRI/Austin.
TRI/Austin Accelerated Life Testing Background & Capabilities
Since 1979 TRI/Austin has conducted Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), Naval Surface Warfare Center, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Unisys, Hazeltine and many commercial clients.
Until the mid-1990s the majority of ALTs were conducted on Navy Submarine Sonar transducers, hydrophones and underwater electrical cables & connectors. TRI/Austin was tasked to update the Mission Profiles for Attack and Ballistic submarines and to design ALTs based on these (environmental exposures occurring during transportation, storage, service life and maintenance cycles).
A lot of focus was placed on: Hull Penetrator Connectors (right, before and after ALT involving the application of cathodic stress to accelerate rubber-to-metal bond failure we referred to as Cathodic Delamination). ALTs were also done on Cable Splices, Seals, Spherical, Under-ice, and Cylindrical Array Sonar Transducers, as well as the Connectors used with them. As a result of these reliability studies, TRI/Austin developed a deep understanding of the Submarine (and Surface Ship) service environment and the causes of premature hardware failures. In several cases we were tasked to develop improved reliability designs (connectors, non-conductive coatings, adhesives, elastomers and cable splices).