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Testing & Assessment

Insertion Loss and Attenuation

Insertion loss and attenuation are similar concepts, but one is assigned to a single component (insertion loss) whereas the other is assigned to generalized performance (attenuation). In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences of these concepts and how proper testing of each can ensure reliability in signal transmission. Read more

Forced Hydrolysis

The goal of forced hydrolysis testing is to represent decades of wet/humid environmental exposure on polyamide-insulated aircraft wiring. This article discusses forced hydrolysis testing in detail, including history, applicability, and performance of the test. Read more

Creepage and Clearance

High voltage systems on aircraft will be more commonplace as the eVTOL market “takes-off.” One safety aspect that often comes up is the separation of the high voltage; often, this comes down to creepage and clearance distance of these systems. Read more

Heat Shrink Volume Resistivity

Heat shrink tubing is used throughout an aircraft’s Electrical Wiring Interconnection System (EWIS) and must withstand the stresses set upon it in the standard testing. Volume resistivity is just one of many properties that are evaluated while qualifying heat shrink tubing. Read more

Voltage, Current, and Thermally Rating Connectors

While electrical component qualification is nothing new to the aerospace industry, the emerging trend toward full aircraft electrification requires every component to be electrically connected; for most equipment, this means incorporation of electrical connectors. Weight, cost, reliability, and performance are the four most common elements initially considered in connector selection, but the finer details of electrical connectors use must also be considered. Here, we discuss how one might go about qualifying an electrical connector, specifically, to address its voltage, current, and thermal limitations. Read more

HV Connector Failures and Part Selection

With the current shift toward hybrid and electric aircraft, deeper understanding of high voltage connectors and their potential failure modes is required. In this article, we discuss failure modes and selection criteria for high voltage connectors on aircraft. Read more

Fluid Immersion Testing of EWIS Components

From fuel to hydraulic oil to sodas, aircraft wires and cables are exposed to a wide range of fluids and, generally, the insulations must not show degradation that would impact their airworthiness. Material compatibility is important for all parts of the aircraft and the wiring system is no exception. The means to assess material compatibility between fluids and wires/cables is done with fluid immersion testing.

Fluid immersion testing is straightforward but requires a lot of materials, a lot of prep work, and a lot of hands-on attention to detail. The fundamental idea of fluid immersion testing is for components to be submerged in the fluid and observed for any changes to the material or components. Some test details and the impacts of the test results are covered here.

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Flex Endurance Test Basics

While most wire installed in an aircraft is placed in static conditions, there are still several harnesses that must support regular flexing. Applications such as landing gears, wiring attached to panels/doors, and flight control surfaces have regular flexing. What is the best approach to selecting and verifying wires/cables for these applications? It turns out that there are several options. Read more

IEC 60851-5 Winding Wires – Electrical Property Test Methods

Winding wires, or magnet wires, are the wires used to construct coils in electronic components (transformers, relays, etc.) that generate the component’s magnetic field. These wires are primarily composed of a copper or aluminum conductor with a very thin layer of insulation. The insulation layer is as thin as possible to keep the wire cross-section small making it possible to squeeze the highest number of windings in the motor. Whereas most electrical wires are cylindrical, winding wires often have a rectangular cross-section profile; this allows for maximum cross-section during winding, thus reducing potential losses. Read more

Heat Shrink Tubing Tests

Heat shrink tubing is a very commonly used component in Electrical Wiring Integration Systems (EWIS). Just as with any other component of an aircraft wiring system, heat shrink tubing must withstand extensive severe testing before being approved for use. This article reviews select standards and methods for heat shrink tubing testing. Read more