Pressure testing may be one of the last things we do before shipping, but is certainly not the least important.
Both newly manufactured cylinders and refurbished ones are fully tested at the end of the assembly process. When the test has been completed, full details of scope and date of the test are added to a test certificate which is then shipped with the cylinder.
Tests typically are focussed on annulus and full bore, but can cover be extended according to operational needs.
The Cylinder Service Centre manufactures and repairs such a wide variety of different types of cylinder. Finding pressure testing equipment that was flexible enough for us has been a real challenge. In fact it was so much of a problem that we ended up designing and building our own pressure testing solution.
Designing and building equipment to test high pressures and loads is a risky business. So, we took some advice and the in-house pressure testing rig we now have has been finely tuned in full consultation with the UK Health and Safety Executive(HSE).
The HSE advice and support was very useful and helped us to create a pressure testing rig that allows us to test to some extreme limits. For both repaired and newly built cylinders we can now carry out high pressure tests in an environment that is safe for our employees and any customer representatives.
New Pressure Boundaries
As with so many other things in our business the pressure testing rig continues to develop over time. We have continued to make modifications to the rig as as technology and customer demands change.
Having both the design and technology in-house gives us the flexibility to develop our pressure testing rig further. We can do this much more quickly and effectively than would be the case if we had to rely on an external manufacturer.
If you would like more information about our pressure testing or other quality assurance procedures - please get in touch.
Pressure Testing Rig: Technical Specification
The pressure testing rig is a fully enclosed testing cell with observation panels and pendant controls for the directional control valves.
The machine enclosure is fully interlocked which means the pumps cannot be started until the doors are closed.
All of the rig doors are automatically locked as soon as any pressure is detected. This happens no matter what direction the pressure occurs in.
There are also additional safety features that shut the testing pumps down should the doors be forced open.
A flashing beacon indicates that testing is in progress. The beacon is clearly visible around the workshop so that everyone is alerted to hightened risk.
IBC cubes with quickchange connectors form the reservoir. This means that production, or operational fluids supplied by a customer can be used for testing if required.
The rig has a 12 metre long bed and so is able to test cylinders up 6 metres long within the enclosure. The maximum bore size that can be tested is 400mm.
There are 2 pumps in the rig, each producing 55 litres/minute at 300 bars for standard testing on mineral oil.
There are flow controls fitted to each pump for testing small cylinders at low speed with stepless adjustment down to zero flow.
Adjustable pressure control valves allow for low pressure testing which can go as low as 30 bars.
The pumps are normally run independently enabling both ends of the rig to be used simultaneously, but the flows can be combined for fast fill of large cylinders.
The rig also has an integrated intensifier producing up to 1400 bar for high pressure jacking cylinders.
For testing cylinders with fire resistant fluids, the rig has an integrated power unit.
See also hydrostatic testing.
Pneumatic testing can also be carried out within the enclosure.