Purpose-built pressure testing facility to be constructed at TWI

Purpose-built pressure testing facility to be constructed at TWI
Existing pressure-testing equipment at TWI

There is a growing need from the oil and gas industry for full-scale tests of pressure-containing equipment such as pipelines, risers and pressure vessels. These components are subject to complex loading conditions during their lifetimes, and highly specialised testing is required to accurately reproduce the environment in which they operate.

While results from small-scale tests can to some extent be extrapolated to predict the behaviour of larger components, this method usually does not satisfy the safety concerns of oil and gas companies, who require the level of assurance that only full-scale tests can provide.

In response to this, TWI has commissioned a new facility which will enable large components to be subject to high internal and/or external pressure, and axial or bending loads to be carried out. The facility is due to be completed by Q4 2015.

The new pit will be around 13 metres in length and able to accommodate specimens (such as sections of pipeline and other pressure-containing equipment) that are up to 10 metres in length. The containment vessel that will allow the application of external pressure will accommodate specimens that are up to one metre in diameter.

The new facility is designed to safely apply internal pressures up to 2000bar (29,000psi), and external pressures up to 1000bar (14,500psi). In addition to the application of internal or external pressure, axial, bending or combined axial and bending (both static and cyclic) loads will be possible. The pit will support axial loads of up to 1500 tonnes (static) and 1000 tonnes (cyclic), and four-point bending with loads up to 2000 tonnes.

The facility will be fully serviced by an overhead crane with a lifting capacity of 20 tonnes. There will be video cameras within the pit and a separate office from which the equipment can be controlled and tests can be viewed remotely, as they take place.

To find out more about the specialised testing services available at TWI please contact us.