Operations consist of hardware precision cleaning, component assembly, and component calibration. With a full-service clean room and Valve Repair Facility, this organization has extensive cleaning and refurbishing experience with numerous valve configurations, metal types, and elastomerics.
WSTF provides contamination control and fluid component support to its customers providing:
- Cleaning and cleanliness verification
- Valve refurbishment repair and maintenance for aerospace flight and non-flight items
- Maintenance and repair of personal protection equipment and clean room garments
The Contamination Control Laboratory at WSTF provides standard processes for cleaning materials used in critical space applications. Some of the construction materials are titanium, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and various plastics and elastomers. Cleanliness is verified using a variety of fluids, including isopropyl alcohol, ultra pure water, and hydrofluoro ether (HFE 7100) for a multitude of systems including oxygen, hypergolics, and nitrogen. Precision cleaned items are packaged in clean nylon or Teflon® bags, with an outer bag of polyethylene to protect the cleanliness of the hardware until ready for use.
Special processes including pickling and passivation are also performed in the Contamination Control Laboratory. Among items processed through this laboratory are man-rated breathing apparatus for space flight, lubrication systems on large vacuum pumps, large oxygen tanks, and tube-bank trailers.
WSTF provided precision cleaning and packaging of the soil sampler that landed on Mars during the Viking Project and the ORCA used in the ISS.
The engineering staff performs research on special projects such as the gauge cleaning for NAVSEA, and water implementation for the replacement of ozone-depleting chemicals used in cleaning (such as CFC-113). WSTF has reduced consumption of CFC-113 from over 21,600 gal (81,800 L) in 1972 to 350 gal (1320 L) in 1999.
The Fluid Components Laboratory provides many services on fluid components and systems, including manual valves, chemical pumps, compressors, vacuum pumps, and flight compressors on the ISS. They also refurbish, reverse engineer, repair, and redesign valves for oil, gas, chemical, propellant, and fuel use, as well as for components in liquid oxygen systems. During reassembly and functional testing, cleanliness is maintained using a clean, Class 10,000 environment. Spare and repair parts are often manufactured at WSTF to refurbish obsolete expensive valves that are no longer commercially available. The Fluid Components Laboratory manufactured, assembled, and tested the ORCA for the ISS.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) at WSTF is a critical part of testing aerospace hardware and systems. We test, maintain, and certify self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), totally encapsulating suits (TES) and standard splash gear. WSTF operates a clean room garment processing facility that cleans, samples, and packages uniforms for use in critical clean areas.
WSTF also has a Work Control team of specially trained personnel supporting deliveries, scheduling, and database maintenance.