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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Prosecutors say Elaine Marie Thomas, 67, gave false positive readings for strength and toughness tests in at least 240 cases between 1985 and 2017.

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"When confronted with the falsified results, Ms Thomas suggested that in some cases she gave metal positive results because she thought it was "stupid" that the Navy required the tests to be conducted at -100F (-70C), the Associated Press reports."

Having been in QA management (oil and gas)for a large part of my career, this is strange, in the sense that it's usually those holding the purse strings and managing the schedule that are tempted to skate on quality. Inspectors and materials folks usually go right down the code lines.

Looks like her ego got the best of her.

#1 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2021-11-09 03:55 PM | Reply

"Looks like her ego got the best of her.
#1 | POSTED BY LFTHNDTHRDS"

I don't know...could just be a case of a woman and math.

#2 | Posted by Skeptical at 2021-11-10 01:21 AM | Reply

Actually I think she has a valid point. Water turns to ice at 32F, and salt water turns to ice at 28F. This is 128 degrees below that. A submarine would be completely trapped in the worlds biggest ice cube long before it reaches -100F.

#3 | Posted by haphazard at 2021-11-10 07:21 AM | Reply

Maybe they had a good reason for testing at such a low temperature.

My first job out of school was to build a test fixture for hand wound toroidal coils that would go into a military transmitter. For some reason they wanted to test Q at frequency well beyond the core material's specifications.

#4 | Posted by visitor_ at 2021-11-10 07:27 AM | Reply

My first job out of school was to build a test fixture for hand wound toroidal coils that would go into a military transmitter. For some reason they wanted to test Q at frequency well beyond the core material's specifications.

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, but for some reason it sounds edgy as hell.

#5 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2021-11-10 07:38 AM | Reply

Metallurgist Faked Steel Tests on US Subs for 32 Years

Why is it that the Navy relied on a single person to make such an important measurement? I would have thought that effort would have been farmed out to several (3 ?) different companies and the results compared with each other.

#6 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2021-11-10 08:26 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Actually I think she has a valid point.

#3 | POSTED BY HAPHAZARD AT 2021-11-10 07:21 AM | FLAG:
(CHOOSE)

Her point matters not. She was given the acceptance criteria and she decided to ignore it. There are safety factors built into all kinds of equipment for a reason. As things age they go through a process of becoming fatigued. This is probably the reason for the overkill in the design of the submarine.

#7 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2021-11-10 08:53 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Maybe they had a good reason for testing at such a low temperature.

Of course they did, they expected a global freeze to the point where all life would be extinguished, but god dammit they want to be able to nuke the commies just in case.

I have some sympathy in her thinking it was a stupid requirement, but then it is not her call what tests the NAVY wants.

#8 | Posted by Nixon at 2021-11-10 08:59 AM | Reply

Skunkworks Founder Kelly Johnson's rule #11: Starve before doing business with the Navy.

His successor Ben Rich ignored that rule and put his finger in the light socket and built a phenomenal weapons system nobody in the Navy wanted to command because there is no glamour in small, automated crews.

#9 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2021-11-10 09:31 AM | Reply

#3 | Posted by haphazard
#8 | Posted by Nixon

Does she have a point? Subs operate in areas where surface temperatures regularly hit well into the negatives. The mean temp near the North pole in the winter is -40F, the lowest recorded at the North Pole is -81F. As a part of their mission US subs do need to be able to surface in that area in the winter and that does mean breaking through the ice. In fact there are regular exercises where they do this. So in that scenario you would possible need strength at very cold temperatures. Also if you had a sub that was on the surface for any length of time and submerged... Yes I know the water would warm it rather quickly but this is a plausible scenario with a degree of safety factor for just that very requirement.

Nixon also has a point. The pros expected SOME people to make it in a nuclear winter. They also expected them to keep fighting no doubt.

#10 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-11-10 09:39 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#6 | Posted by FedUpWithPols

The Navy didn't rely on her. If you read any of the articles, she was director of metallurgy for a steel maker that supplied the steel. She falsified the test results.

We have had issues here with QA being falsified. It is usually someone who doesn't understand and therefore just makes a call on their own that the people specifying something don't know what they are doing. Sometimes they get away with it and other times it is a QA issue. We have had people fired over it. We have also had people just fake it because they didn't want the scrap on their shoulders.

#11 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-11-10 09:52 AM | Reply

Another thing to keep in mind is that the main failure mechanism anticipated would be brittle fracture. This is a catastrophic failure. I've seen it happen during an initial hydro-test of a pressure vessel. The shell came apart like a jigsaw puzzle.

Back when I was in school when the instructor covered brittle fracture he hinted that some of the US warships that were thought to have sank due to a torpedo, may have actually sank due to brittle fracture. I never studied up on that but it was very interesting.

#12 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2021-11-10 10:07 AM | Reply

Back when I was in school when the instructor covered brittle fracture he hinted that some of the US warships that were thought to have sank due to a torpedo, may have actually sank due to brittle fracture. I never studied up on that but it was very interesting.

#12 | POSTED BY LFTHNDTHRDS AT 2021-11-10 10:07 AM | FLAG:

There's also the occasional methane pocket that eats a ship. You are sailing, then all of a sudden you are falling. They sink more than just oil rigs.

#13 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2021-11-10 10:36 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If you read any of the articles, she was director of metallurgy for a steel maker that supplied the steel. She falsified the test results.

The point still remains, why would the Navy take the certification of a copy that the contractor's QA results were authentic on such a major issue? The Navy could have brought in another company(ies) to certify the results.

The recent experience with the approval of the Covid vaccines is an example of not taking the word of a single vendor who has a vested interest in getting their products approved. When it comes to meds, there is a committee of experts that are consulted to assess the information provided by the manufacturer and decide whether the approval should move forward.

This is not the first time that vendors have lied about the quality of their products. You would think that government procurement agencies would have learned by now not to trust vendor only certifications. IOW: Trust but verify.

#14 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2021-11-10 10:44 AM | Reply

A submarine would be completely trapped in the worlds biggest ice cube long before it reaches -100F.

#3 | POSTED BY HAPHAZARD

At first glance I agree, but perhaps the navy uses that test to replicate some type of underwater + maneuver capability which is otherwise tough to replicate in a lab condition

#15 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-11-10 11:51 AM | Reply

US warships that were thought to have sank due to a torpedo, may have actually sank due to brittle fracture.

Nowadays they do some set explosives near newly built warships to test for that lol

#16 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-11-10 11:55 AM | Reply

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