CFCC Students Put Classroom Knowledge to Use at Fort Fisher

On Wednesday, April 20, students in CFCC’s industrial systems technology program were on site at the Fort Fisher Museum to inspect the condition of a cannon used in historic reenactments.

Students will be used several non-destructive inspection techniques to locate tiny cracks and other defects which can not be seen with the naked eye. Because the cannon is used during live reenactments, any cracks in the barrel could indicate a structural flaw which may pose a danger to those using it during a mock battle.

According to CFCC instructor Joe Justice, non-destructive testing offers a fast, cheap and relatively simple means of surface inspection used in a number of industries. At the ‘high-tech’ end of the market, the aerospace industry use automated fluorescent penetrant testing to look for fatigue cracking in turbine blades. At the other end of the scale, the construction industry uses dye penetrant testing as a quick and simple method for checking that welds and other susceptible areas are free from surface-breaking flaws.

Because the technology is so widely used, Justice said that if his students know how to correctly perform this type of test, they’ll be able to use it to better market themselves in the workforce.

Justice considers this project as a win-win for students and the museum because students will get hands-on experience and the museum will get a high tech inspection of the cannon.

More good news – the cannon did not have any cracks, so it’s safe to use for the next reenactment.