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High Current Testing

Several things can go wrong when a wire or cable is subjected to an electrical current exceeding its design limitation and none of them are good. These include, but are not limited to, melting of the insulation, smoking, insulation degradation, promotion of intermetallic growth between the plating and conductor, melting of the conductor, melting of the conductor plating, and conductor embrittlement. Thankfully, if the wire/cable is being used within its temperature and current ratings, the wire should experience very little of the above phenomena. Read more

DO-160, EWIS, and EMI

Designing a circuit diagram for a system comprised of Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) is usually a straightforward process: identify the inputs and outputs of the system and connect them with wires and cables. Taking that simple high-level circuit diagram and implementing the physical design into an application can be quite difficult. This requires the proper connectors, optimized the physical routing, and ensuring negligible impact from electromagnetic interference (EMI). From an implementation perspective, it cannot be understated how much EMI can impact system performance ranging from degraded performance to make a system completely inoperable. Thankfully, there are test methods to evaluate the susceptibility of electromagnetic interference of a wire harness design. Read more

Testing the Performance of AFCBs

Arc Fault Circuit Protection has been a technology that dates back to the 1990s. Despite this not being a new technology, the breath of its implementation is still limited. The device owes its inception to arcing events that occurred on in-service aircraft. Because of these events, the wiring community sought to create wiring that was arc track resistant, and the circuit protection community sought to cut off the arcing event before too much energy was released. This has been captured in the requirements of AS5692 for AC circuit protection, and AS6019 for DC protection Read more

Galvanic Corrosion and Red Plague

Some have brushed the issue aside saying that they have never seen it, thus it is not a problem. To put the issue of red plague into perspective, a worst-case estimate suggests as much as 3% of braided silver-plated copper shields have some degree of red plague. Across the aerospace industry, this equates to millions of dollars each year in scraped products, rewiring, and maintenance actions. Read more

Condition Based Maintenance and Risk Quantification

Aircraft maintenance is usually broken down one of two ways: by physical zones or by systems. The mechanical equipment and subsystems integrity program, also known as MECSIP, is the US Air Force’s approach to addressing aircraft sustainment and maintenance through focused system evaluation. Last week, MECSIP managers from many of the Air Force fleets gathered in Dayton, Ohio to discuss the latest developments, procedures, and technologies for addressing the MECSIP needs of their fleets. Read more

Unwanted Energy Storage in Cables – Dielectric Constant

A good wire insulation is more than just preventing electrical energy from leaving the conductor; there are dozens of properties that are important to its performance and usability. One of these that is easy to overlook is the wire’s dielectric constant. Read more

Maximum Harness Ampacity

The fundamental concept here is harness ampacity: the maximum amount of current transferred down a wire harness without exceeding the temperature rating for any component. Read more

FAQs of EWIS Service Life Extension Programs

Lectromec has accumulated a set of frequently asked questions related to wire system sustainment. Here, we cover several high level questions about the assessment and its value and the subsequent article we will delve into some of the more technical details. Read more

Aging Aircraft Wire

Aging aircraft wiring is a problem affecting the entire aviation industry. Lectromec’s evaluation of the 2016 service difficulty reports found that aircraft over 25 years old were more than two times likely to suffer problems with their wiring system. There are tools and analyses to get ahead of these issues. Read more