Systems & Propulsion

The ‘wire-fatigue whirligig’ simultaneously tested up to four connections, spinning them around at 650 revolutions per minute. 1. The parallel crimp and three soldered connections are ready for testing. 2. Within three minutes, two of the soldered connections failed where the solder started. 3. Within five minutes, all had failed, with the crimp breaking where it flexed over the fitting end.

A New Spin on Dependable Crimps and Splices

Our test focused primarily on the small-wire connections’ tensile strength, with and without solder, but we also looked at their durability under tough environmental conditions. We tested the pull-out strength without solder and the pull-out strength of soldered connections at 400 degrees by heating the connections in an oven to simulate overheating conditions. We tested fatigue by spinning a 6-inch length of splice wire at 650 RPM in a simple device that we called the “wire-fatigue whirligig.” Finally, testers soaked all samples for four months in salt water to accelerate corrosion, and then, we repeated the fatigue test.

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