At Element, we test for the material integrity and structure of aircraft to verify they can withstand projectile impacts, such as bird strike, hail, debris and drone strike.

Projectile Impact Testing

Projectile impact testing helps to prepare for different types of projectile strikes that may occur when a plane is in operation. It is essential to determine, for example, if engine casing materials will be able to contain an engine fragmentation event, such as fan blade separation (fan blade off) 

Under this testing process, aluminum, titanium, or other irregularly shaped objects are projected into at the test product at velocities of up to 550mph, to evaluate the effect of impact.

Test instrumentation for projectile impact testing can include high-speed photography,  digital image correlation (deflection map), strain correlation, and thermal imaging.

Bird Strike Testing

Bird strike testing is required by The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program. Annually, millions of dollars in plane crashes and aircraft damage occur as the result of impacts from aircraft bird ingestion. Bird strike testing helps to mitigate the risks of danger to aviation technology, animal and human life.

Element’s engineers can assist in developing and executing a bird strike test plan to fit your unique needs. Our Nadcap accredited laboratories have the ability to provide custom set ups and handle large projects for bird strike, making us the ideal testing partner for even the most complex challenges.

Hail Impact Testing

As well as bird strike impact testing, Element provides hail impact testing for the aerospace, automotive, and other industries. Hail impact testing entails launches hail, or simulated hail, from 0.5 inches diameter up to 2.75 inches diameter at the test specimen, and post-impact evaluation of the effect upon the product. Like bird strike testing, hail impact testing is vital for components in the design, development, and production stages, or requiring certification. Most commonly, hail testing is laboratory tested on aircraft exterior components, such as windshields, radomes, antennas, and pitot tubes. 

The Element advantage: Combining projectile impact testing with aircraft qualification programs

A comprehensive test program incorporates testing to as many standards or requirements as possible and combining several complex elements into a single test plan. With years of experience in the aerospace sector, you can have confidence that results from Element are reliable, accurate and complete.

As the largest independent provider of materials testing, product qualification testing, calibration, and advisory services to the global aerospace sector, Element can combine projectile strike testing with a unique range of more extensive testing and validation often required by aerospace manufacturers during qualification.

For more information about our projectile impact testing, or to request a quote, contact us today.

Our team of over 9,000 Engaged Experts in North America, Europe, The Middle East, Australia, Asia and Africa are ready to help you.