Category Archive: Uncategorized

The Commercial Space Economy Forecasts an Optimistic Future

With the recent manned mission of a US-made rocket, and advancements in reusable launch systems, commercial space is coming into the spotlight and showing an optimistic future.

The commercial space economy has been steadily growing in recent years for reasons ranging from financials to innovative breakthroughs in technology. Although the manned-mission is in the spotlight, in terms of segmentation of various commercial space activities, unmanned operation is forecasted to contribute a larger share of activity.


North America still leads the overall launch capability and is said to have the largest market share in the spacecraft industry. NASA’s renewed resolve in returning to the moon, and extending the reach of the manned mission to Mars, comes with a significant budget to accelerate the development of space technologies and the economy. Anticipating the future of space commerce, many entrepreneurs and pioneering companies are entering the new space race to find unique ways to provide the necessary services for this emerging industry – including the following:


Affordable Launch / Rocket technologies: Curbing the cost of launch is the foundation of making space accessible for commercial companies.

Satellite Internet / Communication: Most likely the development and deployment of communication technology is the most immediate opportunity for space businesses. Companies focused on improving the accessibility and the reach of wireless broadband and connectivity through satellites.

Asteroid / Moon Mining & Manufacturing in Space: The idea sounds like a science fiction story, but companies are exploring ways to extract water and rare minerals from asteroids, and the moon. Some of these companies are also involved in developing the manufacturing technologies required to build structures in orbit and on other planets.

Refueling Services: Gas stations in orbit? The capability to fuel/refuel spacecraft destined for long range target (Mars), as well as the satellites that are already in the earth’s orbit, is an essential part of space commerce and rapidly becoming a reality.

Cleaning up Space Debris: With all of the satellites and manmade machinery that we have launched and left in space, the Earth’s orbit is becoming cluttered – We need companies that can track and remove this “space junk” to avoid accidents and keep space accessible.

Space Tourism: Perhaps what most earth citizens are looking forward to the most is the ability to take a brief trip to space. Though ticket prices for space tourism are still astronomically expensive, these companies are developing ways to make it affordable and bring the space adventure to many of us.

Space Exploration / Colonization: This is probably the most popular and audacious goal amongst the leading space ventures. These companies are working on sending and settling humans and cargo beyond earth’s orbit, including the moon and mars in the near future.


Technology Advancements Driving an Optimistic Future 

Space entrepreneurs are exploring and pursuing ambitious goals such as colonizing other planets, mining asteroids, setting up space tourism, building manufacturing plants in orbit, as well as pursuing ways to further lower the cost of access to space – such as airplane-borne rocket and air-to-space launchers. It is clear that reusable rockets and space-age commercialization are today’s reality. Lower per-launch costs and miniaturization of payloads/satellites are opening new doors for non-aerospace and defense sectors, further demonstrating that commercial space is showing an optimistic future.

aerospace test devices

With reusable rocket technology advancements, the cost of launching a rocket has declined drastically to 33% of previous costs (from $200 million to $60 million). Morgan Stanley, a leading business analysis firm, predicts a potential launch cost of $5 million, in the near future. The global space industry is expected to generate $1.1 trillion in revenue by 2040, up from  $350 billion in 2019.


How Test Devices Contributes to the Commercial Space Economy?

We are the leading experts in high-speed rotor testing, manufacturing, and rotor balancing technologies, especially for aerospace applications. For decades Test Devices by Schenck, has been a dependable partner to many of the leading aerospace propulsion OMEs. Our capability in executing aerospace-grade engineering tests and managing outsourced manufacturing operations is only matched by our passion for sharing our customers’ success.

There are several operationally critical high-speed rotating parts in each rocket engine.  We both test and perform important operations in the overall component manufacturing processes. Test Devices currently performs production spin testing to satisfy NASA standard 5019 section 7.2.7 fracture critical rotating hardware.  Typical items that are associated with fracture critical rotation are turbine, Fuel pumps, and LOX impellers.

Partnering with us not only provides you with the benefits of our extensive experience and dedicated team, but you will also be working with a team that keeps quality, safety, and continuous improvement at the forefront of our business. Customers want to work with Test Devices because of our focused approach on the most demanding manufacturing requirements, whether it be spin testing, semi-finish machining, or other critical processes.

For more information or to get in touch, please contact us today.

Why Choose a Full Service Semi-Finish Manufacturer?

Test devices semi finish rotating disk

Full-Service Manufacturing: What Makes Us Unique?

Through our extensive knowledge and expertise in rough and semi-finish manufacturing, we are able to give our customers the highest quality rotating parts making us the industry leader in this category. While success in these areas does require a dedicated team, what makes Test Devices unique is our combination of experts with our suite of on-site resources. 

Other facilities can surely spin and shape products, but more importantly we are equipped with the best engineers, operators, and equipment that can handle the unexpected inevitable challenges that arise in machining. With our versatile staff and top of the line equipment, at Test Devices, we have the capabilities to execute:

The Attention You Deserve

Our staff is nothing short of thorough, detail oriented, and personable. In a fast-paced environment with changing schedules, specifications, delivery schedules, and rotating points-of-contact, we understand that change is inevitable, and we need to be able to work quickly and efficiently.

Where we stand out among the rest is our ability to adapt to our customer’s needs. We stay engaged in personal and frequent contact, ensuring that feedback is not missed and capturing our customer’s needs and any changes along the way. Our production management will ensure part shipments are made on a day to day basis, while continuing to develop and maintain relationships with our customers and meeting their demands. 

No matter how urgent the request, our customers know that at Test Devices we will respond quickly with actionable steps, as we understand these changes could have an effect on our manufacturing and delivery schedule. 

Experts on Materials

With our staff of highly trained experts, we cover a vast amount of knowledge when speaking about rough and semi finish machining of complex alloys and critical rotating parts. At Test Devices, we routinely provide finishing for the following:

  • Heat-resistant super alloys
  • High-nickel content aerospace superalloys
  • Precision critical rotating components
  • Parts within tolerances of (+-) 0.0005”
  • High-precision geometric shapes from rough forgings

Our Proven Commitment

rotating disk manufacturerDriven by our commitment to provide high quality services and products and dedicated customer service, our expert staff will see any challenge to the finish line. 

After several years of successfully providing pre-finished parts to one of our customers, a major aerospace manufacturer, Test Devices experienced an increase in un-spinnable parts. After completing a detailed and thorough inspection of the machinery, our team was able to identify the problem which was determined to be a change in machining setup by the customer. We were then able to make the professional recommendation and solve the issue.

A second example involved an issue during spin testing for a leading manufacturer of centrifugal impellers. Similar to our first example, after years of successfully delivering parts to our client, we encountered an issue when we realized a handful of parts were unbalanced. After the inspection of the machinery, we were able to determine the issue at hand and successfully resolve it. 

Why You Should Choose Test Devices

Partnering with us not only provides you with the benefits of our extensive experience and dedicated team, but you will also be working with a team who keeps quality, safety, and continuous improvement at the forefront of our business. Customers want to work with TD because of our focused approach on the most demanding manufacturing requirements, whether it be spin testing, semi-finish machining, or other critical processes.


To read more about our entire rough and semi-finish machining services all under one roof, click here or on that picture to get your free copy of our eBook “Unparalleled Value: The Benefits of Our Rough & Semi-Finish Rotating Disk Machining Services now.




Success for the HQ-1 Spin Test System

Shops and factories need to regularly test rotors to ensure excellent performance and adherence to design or production requirements. The HQ-1 Spin Tester is a purpose-built bench that incorporates all basic spin testing.

HQ-1 is designed for manufacturing environment, and most suitable for spin testing:

  • High-speed electric motor armatures
  • Small gas turbine disks and bladed disks
  • Turbochargers & turbopump rotors
  • Electronics: Munition fuses and sensors
  • Centrifuge wheels

The HQ-1 Spin Tester is an efficient, cost-effective option for facilities that need in-house, high-quality spin verification.

HQ-1 Spin Test System Overview


Our HQ-1 Spin Test System offers the following components and capabilities:

  • Compact design.The skid-mounted device can fit in a 10′ x 5′ x 6.5′ envelope for easy transportation and maneuvering.
  • Ease of use.The wheel mounting arbor fits multiple exchangeable adapters so facilities can test a variety of equipment with the same unit.
  • Drive system. The system’s default drive device can run up to 100,000 RPM as a baseline speed. Our team can provide higher speed drive options upon request.
  • Turnkey solutions. The HQ-1 Spin Tester offers plug-and-play installation, easy integration, and ERP and IoT connection capabilities.

The HQ-1’s user control system makes the device easy to operate. The interface is intuitive and has manual, semi-automatic, and automatic settings. Facilities can create pre-programmed spin cycle sequences for routine testing with built-in safety and diagnostics.

The device can be operated with an optional touchscreen interface. This offers menu-style setup, one-push operation, and barcode scanning to activate specific test sequences. Test Devices can also enable spin test systems with upgrades for remote control and monitoring for more customizable usage.


Spin tests generate significant speed and force. To keep workers and adjacent equipment safe, we build our spin test systems to exacting standards. The test chamber of the HQ-1 Spin Tester has a high-strength containment shell made from steel, is fully enclosed and includes a safety door for the operator.

We also outfit the chamber with multiple safety interlocks to protect against malfunction and abnormal machine behavior during operation. The system performs self-diagnostic tests, monitors its operation and keeps an automated log of alarms.

The vibration monitoring system in the drive unit adds another layer of safety against potential and serious hazards in the high speed testing. The system detects abnormalities and interrupt the spin operation  preventing the operators from being exposed to a potentially hazardous rotor behavior. T

Contact Test Devices to Request a Spin Test System Today

Spin testing is a step to evaluate the quality of rotating parts in manufacturing, repair, and operation. The HQ-1 Spin Tester is a purpose-driven tester that includes a fully-sealed testing chamber with a robust containment, a easy to use operator interface, and dependable in-built monitoring and safety features.

Test Devices specializes in creating high-quality testing equipment to keep your facility safe and ensure you deliver high-quality finished products. We’re the leading experts in both spin testing and balancing services, and our company is ISO 9001:2015 and ASD9100D certified. Request a quote here for more information on an HQ-1 Spin Tester for your operation today.

Protect Your Turbines and Engines with Subscale Turbine Particle Test Rigs

test-devices-turbine-particle-testSolid particulates—such as sand, volcanic ash or airborne pollutants produced through the burning of fossil fuels—pose a significant risk to power turbines and jet engines employed in the industrial, commercial, and military sectors. Whether natural or manmade, these contaminants can severely impact the performance and durability of these systems and, in some cases, cause damage and subsequent failure.



Once inside the turbine flow path, depending on the temperature, the particles could cause different type of damages to critical operating components. For systems regularly exposed to dust and other solid pollutants, understanding the sources and mechanisms of particle-related damage is essential for engineering an effective solution to mitigate the problem and maintaining long-term optimal performance. These necessities are especially relevant due to the increasing number of military and aviation operations occurring in dry dusty environments, as well as the increased incidence tied to the presence of the volcanic ash dispersed in the flight altitude.

Particle testing is one of the most critical steps in identifying and evaluating these potential pain points. This blog post outlines the basic principles behind the testing procedure and the testing capabilities offered up by Testing Devices, Inc.


Fundamentals of Turbine Particle Testing


All gas turbines take in large amounts of air and are therefore at risk of particle damage. The danger is present whether the turbine is land-based or airborne and whether or not it has a filter, as even the most advanced filters cannot contain extremely fine particles of dust or ash.

Subscale Turbine Particle Test Rig uses a purpose-built test setup to assess a durability of a turbine parts to handle these anticipated rigors before it is actually exposed to them. The goal of the test is to understand how a given contaminant entering the turbine could interact and manifest into a damage. The information that’s key to predicting and preventing catastrophic failures. Early, accurate particle testing is especially valuable as different particle types, chemical compositions, and operating environments cause different reactions and issues within the system. For example, the operating temperature affects the phase of the particulate hitting the blade surface, which determines whether erosion or deposition occurs.

After conducting a particle test, an engineer gains a comprehensive understanding of how his or her component may react to these likely environmental stressors, making it an essential step in the design process.

Key Test Rig Capabilities

At Test Devices, Inc., we specialize in subscale stimulations that are fully adaptable to a wide range of test environment conditions. Our testing rig boasts the following capabilities:

  • Max flow velocity: 370 m/s
  • Demonstrated flow temperature: over 2400º F
  • Overall exhaust mass flow rate:6 kg/s
  • Particle feed rate:2, 0.5 grams/s, and higher

Within these constraints, we work with our customers’ teams to generate actionable data that inform future revisions and production choices.

Test Devices: Leading the Industry in Performance Testing

As the demand for air transportation grows and the aircrafts venture into harsher conditions, there’s ample demand for customizable particle testing that can account for all critical environmental factors. At Testing Devices, Inc., we offer state-of-the-art testing rigs and services designed for maximum precision and control.

Request a Quote and speak with our team about your ingestion testing needs today.


Optical Strain Measurement: What You Need to Know

Optical strain measurement is a non-contact measurement technique that employs digital image processing principles. Compared to traditional strain measurement methods, this technique provides a more streamlined solution for testing operations. The increase in testing efficiency is due largely to the elimination of the need for the modification of parts for lead-wire routing and sensor attachment. 

Optical strain measurement offers engineers insight into strain behavior by providing a detailed map of the strain field. This is in direct contrast to more traditional measurement methods, which rely on single-point measurements with only presumed correlations to analytical model measurements.

Essentials of Optical Strain Measurement

Optical-strain-measurementDespite having existed for a number of years, it is only recently that the utilization of optical strain measurement techniques on a regular basis became practical. This change is largely attributed to the technological advances in the realms of computation power and digital imaging. Significant enhancements to these technologies allowed them to meet the requirements for the image processing-based measurement techniques on which optical strain measurement relies.

A wide variety of strain mapping methods have grown in popularity over the past several years. These techniques determine a part’s surface strain by observing how patterns printed on the part’s surfaces move during deformation. 

At TDI, we developed a Rotor Optical Strain System (ROSS) to facilitate optical strain measurement procedures. Using the ROSS, our team targets an area on the test rotor’s surface and marks it with a distinct engineering pattern. The use of this pattern, combined with our proprietary de-rotating system for image capturing, makes it easy to calculate strain via a digital image correlation (DIC) technique—i.e., an experimental technique that measures stress-stain. 

Benefits of Optical Strain Measurement

As optical strain measurement utilizes digital image correlation (DIC), it presents several significant advantages over other methods, including:

  • More comprehensive insight into strain behavior. Rather than relying on single-point measurements, this method provides engineers with a more detailed strain field map that offers a fuller picture of the strain field and structural performance of the tested product. 
  • More reliable measurements. Optical strain measurement eliminates the need to assume correlations between actual measurements and measurements from the standard analytical model that is typically required for single-point measurement techniques.
  • Less need for parts modification. As a non-contact technique, optical strain measurement eliminates the need to accommodate lead wires, strain gages, and slip rings. This elimination saves on parts cost and allows engineers to modify, inspect, or reconfigure tests (e.g., swapping turbine blades) with ease.
  • Less risk of unexpected failure. As this technique eliminates the need for strain gages and lead wires, it reduces the risk of measurement failure due to component failure and increases the likelihood of collected data maintaining its integrity.
  • More potential for future applications. On the whole, optical strain measurement offers a much greater degree of applicability than alternate measurement techniques. The necessary equipment can easily be set up in stand-off positions; this, in turn, allows for strain measurement even under extreme environmental or operating conditions (e.g., high temperatures).

While optical strain measurement has been used for well over a decade on static components, applying the process to high-speed rotation components is relatively new. That’s why we seek to improve measurement technologies to position optical strain measurement as a cost-effective tool for a bevy of high-speed testing and production applications.

Test Devices’ Optical Strain Measurement Services

At Test Devices, we’ve developed an application for the optical strain technique for high-speed rotating parts. Our work on this innovative and forward-thinking process presents a clear opportunity for our clients. 

Interested in partnering with Test Devices, Inc. to learn more about your parts’ capability and performance? Looking to weed out weak components and strengthen the parts you rely on in your industry and application? Request a quote today to find out more about our optical strain measurement services.

Industrial Applications of Spin-Testing and Balancing

Precision testing of high-speed, high-performance motors and rotors is of paramount importance in today’s aerospace, automotive, and defense industries. 

Spin testing is performed to validate the design, durability, balance, and structural integrity of the motor. The material and structural behavior of the rotor, which ties to the efficiency of a machine, is of major import across the many varied applications of electric motor technology, ranging from UAVs and UAMs to hybrid and electric vehicles. Industries that depend on high-speed rotating machinery rely heavily on test results to accurately predict how their technology will perform in real-world situations. 

Applications of Spin-Testing 

spin-testing Proof and overspeed testing are standard for manufacturers of rotating equipment and turbomachinery. Simply put, overspeed testing validates the rotor integrity against the speed of the rotor to a rate far greater than what the component will encounter  in its operation. For example, FAA certification of aircraft turbines disk mandates overspeed testing before the engines can be used in aircraft. 

There are myriad tests that may be relevant based on the specific type of rotor application. For example, rotors fabricated from a new materials or constitute a radically new designs are subjected to more rigorous testing to certify for relevant regulatory standards and operational safety requirements, as well as gather as much data as possible about the effectiveness of the new technology. In this case, Test Devices could help conducting advanced spin testing to design and implement the test, and measure the critical data to evaluate the performance of the part. 

At Test Devices, we possess a broad variety of spin testing capabilities suitable for various testing scenario, including:

  • Proof spin and overspeed testing for compliance
  • Rotor strength and material evaluation via burst test (with high-speed imaging)
  • Rotor durability and fatigue evaluation via LCF testing
  • Heated and thermal gradient test to capture the accurate material conditions
  • Rotor growth and profile mapping – Capture the material behavior under CF load


Proper balancing is an essential step to ensure the reliable operation of any type of rotor. Even a small unbalance can result in problems ranging from unexpected rotor wear to catastrophic equipment failure. 

balancing-services-test-devicesUnbalance is inherent in any real-life rotors. Even the minute variation within the manufacturing tolerances, and uneven distribution of material properties about the axis of rotation could cause the bias in the distribution of the CF load in a rotor that results in undesirable vibration. 

In some cases, involving high-speed rotors, more complex scenario must be considered. Unexpected deformation of rotor due to the emergence of plasticity or shift in the internal structure of a rotor (e.g. winding settling in the motor armature) could result in an unintended unbalance. In such a scenario, the combination of both spin testing and balancing plays a critical role in identifying and resolving potential problems in the rotor.

As such, proper balancing is a critical step to the successful function of rotating components. An unbalanced condition can be very hazardous and may result in severe damage to machinery, threaten the safety of equipment operators, and drive up costs due to redesigns.

Spin testing and balancing plays a critical role in ensuring the safe and reliable operation of the final component, ensuring its integrity and reliability – optimizing the performance and extending the machine’s useful life. 

Advanced Spin Testing Services from Test Devices

Test Devices has more than 40 years of experience in advanced spin testing practices. Our state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained staff of engineers and technicians offer innovative solutions to the challenges facing designers and manufacturers of rotating components.

We can help you optimize your designs and accelerate your development and production process by providing you with all the relevant test data that you need.

Contact Us today for more information about our spin testing services or to discuss your design with one of our experts.