Solution Story: Engineer solves crisis that arises during testing of military avionics equipment

Knovel helps pinpoint the cause of an engine cracking problem, keeping a project on schedule

When a large aerospace conglomerate switched a project to a new testing location, the motor they were calibrating began to fail. One engineer hypothesized that the introduction of a new calibration fluid was the root cause. With the help of Knovel, the engineer quickly validated her hypothesis, rescuing the project in a matter of days.

Military avionics equipment - Knovel solution story | Elsevier

Challenge

In collaboration with a client, a multinational company was co-developing a hydraulic motor for an actuator in a military jet. The motor required extensive bench testing and calibration using a working calibration fluid, whose properties were comparable to those of in-flight jet fuel, but less flammable. Months into the calibration phase, the client moved the testing to a new facility and the motor began to crack and fail during testing. The cause was uncertain, but one engineer had a strong suspicion. With a tight timeline and a significant investment on the line, the company assigned her to pinpoint the cause of the problem.

Solution

The engineer believed that a new calibration fluid was the cause of the motor failure, and she thought she could demonstrate that by analyzing the fluid’s behavior at very high temperatures and speeds. She turned to Knovel, where fast search and aggregated engineering information helped her quickly find what she needed on relevant materials and properties. Knovel also surfaced a set of interactive equations to calculate the temperature at the precise point where the fluid came into contact with the motor’s metal components. The engineer was able to use these formulas to provide a mathematical explanation of the problem’s root cause, which was confirmed to be the change in the new test fluid: her theory was validated.


The aid of Knovel’s interactive equations - Knovel solution story | Elsevier

"With the aid of Knovel’s interactive equations, the engineer was able to confidently recommend that the client needed to use a different calibration test fluid."

Impact

Acknowledging that a different calibration fluid was now needed for the bench tests, the engineer also used Knovel to identify and suggest a standard calibration fluid that would allow the motor to function as intended. She presented her hypothesis, proof and recommendation to the client and, once the fluid was replaced, the motor behaved exactly as the engineer had predicted. The remainder of the testing phase proceeded on schedule, keeping pace with the project’s rigorous military timeline.


The aid of Knovel’s interactive equations - Knovel solution story | Elsevier

"The information in Knovel and the data insights it catalyzed provided the engineer with mathematical proof and a recommendation for a quick-impact solution."

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