Ensuring mission-critical component success with DPA testing

Destructive Physical Analysis (DPA) is essential testing for the viability of mission-critical aerospace and military equipment. It’s a series of methods that involve thoroughly examining electronic components (such as microcircuits and semiconductors) to uncover construction deviations and workmanship anomalies. When lives are on the line or failure is not an option, DPA testing serves as a firewall that prevents suspect components from being used.

DPA testing entails the disassembly, testing and inspection of a device to develop a complete profile of how well it conforms to design and process requirements. This documentation ensures that materials, design and assembly are in compliance with mandatory standards and provides a roadmap for addressing defects. 

Government agencies, such as NASA, identify the specific type of DPA testing that needs to be performed and set appropriate acceptance/rejection criteria for the testing of electronic, electromagnetic and electromechanical parts. Defects are typically defined as any non-conformance from specified requirements that affect form, fit or function. 

DPA testing uncovers design, workmanship and processing problems that may not show up during normal screening tests. ORS’s DPA testing typically consists of a systematic and progressive series of environmental and mechanical tests. The testing determines if parts manufactured by vendors have anomalies or defects that could cause a degradation or catastrophic system failure at a later date. In some cases, we uncover anomalies or defects that result in the rejection of an entire lot of parts. 

Our DPA laboratory ensures that electronic components meet the detailed specifications and project requirements used in commercial, industrial, aerospace, military and government applications. ORS has a certified AS9100 quality system, three lab sites in the U.S. and a facility in the EU. Our DPA laboratories are Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) suitable for various MIL-STD testing requirements. The most frequently requested test methods are from MIL-STD-750, MIL-STD-883, MIL-STD-202 and MIL-STD-1580.  We can also perform specific DPA test flows such as MIL-STD-883, Method 5009 or to unique client performance specifications.

ORS staff members are active in JEDEC, the global leader in developing open standards and publications for the microelectronics industry. Our DPA labs are continuously updated with state-of-the-art equipment, including:

  • High-Resolution Electron Microscopes for surface imaging that are equipped with high-count-rate SDD EDS Detectors for elemental analysis
  • X-Ray Systems with CT capabilities that are compliant with the latest MIL-STD-883 method 2012 and pending MIL-STD-750 method 2076 revisions 
  • Scanning Acoustic Microscopes with Dual Transducer and Fast Fourier Transform capabilities
  • X-Ray Fluorescent Test Equipment 
  • Research-Grade Optical Microscopes
  • IGA and Leak Testing Instrumentation

In addition to Destructive Physical Analysis, ORS offers the following Component Analysis Services

Device Upscreening and Qualification Testing is available per MIL-STD-883, Method 5004 and MIL-STD-883, Method 5005 test requirements.

Environmental Testing can evaluate how advanced components perform in extreme environments.

Mechanical Testing assesses equipment robustness to rough handling, transportation or field operation, mechanical shock and vibration testing.

Construction Analysis is a customized sequence of analytical techniques to evaluate the inherent design and robustness of a component or assembly. We examine and document physical characteristics, including material elemental composition, dimensions and quality details of the assembly. 

Failure Analysis is designed to determine the root cause of a failure. Testing provides detailed information regarding the identification of materials, component/device defects and systems that failed during their intended end use application and recommendations for corrective actions. 

To learn more about ORS’s extensive component analysis services and DPA testing capabilities, please fill out the form above and one of our expert engineers will be in touch. 

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