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DSTI Delivers High Priority Defense Project at ‘Mach’ Speeds

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – August 9, 2021 – The Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) located at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, recently upgraded their wind tunnel testing system with a custom-engineered DSTI rotary union.

AEDC provides testing services for the development support of the Department of Defense, NASA and commercial aerospace systems. The facility boasts the world’s largest and most complex collection of aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels, rocket and turbine engine test cells, space environmental chambers and ballistic ranges with capabilities for subscale to full-scale models at speeds ranging from subsonic to hypersonic.

Continuous rotation was unachievable with their current equipment as the piping system restricted movement to less than 360 degrees. Utilizing a fluid rotary union allows continuous rotation for significantly improved testing efficiency and collection of new data currently unavailable with the existing design.

“This project had a Department of Defense priority rating, which required it to take precedence over all other non-national defense projects here at DSTI,” said project manager Adam Wisker.

“We were up against a very compressed schedule and were also facing new challenges with supply chain disruption as a result of the current global pandemic,” Wisker added.

The engineering team at DSTI developed a creative solution for the high-pressure, high-flow volume (3,000 PSI 3″ flow passage) air/gas requirements utilizing past knowledge and experience from subsea applications. In addition, other proprietary design features were incorporated which resulted in minimizing material diameter to reduce the linear sealing distance allowing use of more readily available sealing components.

“After providing our requirements for a high pressure rated rotary union, DSTI worked with us to refine our needs and generate a design that fulfilled these requirements meeting our stringent acceptance criteria,” said Kristyn Nivins, Project Manager, Arnold Engineering Development Complex at Arnold Air Force Base.

“The first and current implementation of the system nearly doubled a capability required for the test and evaluation of a high priority Department of Defense weapon system,” Nivins said, adding “they expedited the process at every possible opportunity to meet our extremely tight schedule, stepping up to meet the needs of the Nation.”

The team delivered the product early, saving over four weeks of schedule which enabled the program to meet a critical milestone and prevent a 6-month delay in fielding.

DSTI’s rotary union will be used on all future high pressure air wind tunnel tests at AEDC, significantly advancing testing capabilities for critical aerospace and defense developments.

Image Credits: Arnold Engineering Development Complex; Arnold Air Force Base
ABOUT THE ARNOLD ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT COMPLEXThe Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) operates aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels, rocket and turbine engine test cells, environmental chambers, arc heaters, ballistic ranges, sled tracks, centrifuges and other specialized units.

Headquartered at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, AEDC offers a suite of test capabilities to simulate speed, temperature, pressure and other parameters over a wide range to meet the needs of aerospace system developers.ABOUT DSTI

Dynamic Sealing Technologies, Inc. (DSTI) specializes in the design and manufacturing of application-specific fluid solutions worldwide. DSTI’s engineered fluid sealing products transfer hydraulic oil, chemicals, water, air, and a variety of other liquids and gases for rotating applications. The company offers custom integrated solutions to meet the unique design, manufacturing, testing, and qualification requirements of each project. DSTI has a full line of in-stock, standard fluid and electrical products including fluid rotary unions and electrical slip rings designed to meet a wide range of industrial applications.

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