Component and Equipment Testing
Testing of valves under dynamic conditions: From checking that relief valves lift at the set pressure and determining flowrates to testing of check valves under the extreme condition of catastrophic failure.
‘Instant Isolation’ tests of check valves can be performed at any size and pressure. During such tests extensive instrumentation can be deployed to measure the rapid pressure decompression and the response of the check plate using strain gauges and accelerometers.
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Pressure
Testing Facilities are available for high pressure hydraulic and pneumatic pressure testing of equipment to prove structural integrity.
Examples include pneumatic testing of road tankers and hydraulic testing of large flexible hoses. If required, such tests can be taken to destruction to establish design limits.
Pipeline Fracture Resistance Testing
Materials used for pipelines must be capable of resisting a propagating fracture to prevent an uncontrolled propagating fracture resulting in a major hazard to the environment and loss of the pipeline asset. Both polymers and steel pipeline materials can be tested for their fracture resistance at Spadeadam. Plastic pipe materials up to 700mm diameter can be tested at full scale in a facility incorporating a chilled trench. Tests can be conducted in accordance with Transco standard PL2 or appropriate National Standards or the draft European Standard prEN1555.
Steel transmission pipeline materials can also be tested for fracture resistance. An existing facility for 36″ diameter pipe allows for tests up to 180bar involving natural gas or rich gas mixtures. A re-circulation system also allows for elevated or below ambient gas mixtures to be used. Extensive instrumentation allows for measurement of crack growth and gas decompression during the experiments which are initiated using shaped explosive charges.
Process System Performance Testing
Process equipment or techniques can also be simulated at Spadeadam so that items of equipment or novel processes can be tested prior to implementation. Examples include testing heat exchangers under operational conditions and assessing the performance of H2S scavenging chemicals interacting with flowing process fluids.