Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) News

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SwRI opens new structural test facility

San Antonio -- November 30, 2006 -- Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) has completed construction on an 11,000-square-foot facility for structural testing of large items. The new Large Article Structural Test Facility became available for use in October.

“This new facility more than doubles our current large article test capability,” said Dr. Ken Griffin, manager of the Aerospace Structures Section in SwRI's Structural Engineering Department. “It opens the way for us to provide test services to the aerospace community for much larger aircraft and will allow us, in some cases, to test two aircraft simultaneously.”

The facility has 7,000 square feet of unobstructed test space, fully swept by a 30-ton bridge crane with 30-foot height clearance. Oversized doors allow access to transport trucks, facilitating loading and unloading of large test items. The floor has 16 hard point locations that can accommodate 30,000-pound tie-down loads.

“The floor ties facilitate restraining some large articles such as oil field equipment, earth-moving vehicle frames and rail cars, among others, without a self-reacting test frame,” Griffin said.

The entire facility can be climate controlled to accommodate installation of special instrumentation and has offices, experiment build-up shops and storage areas. Test equipment includes a 3,000-psi hydraulic system for structural loading, rated at 80 gallons per minute, and an air pressurization system, rated at 150 psi, capable of delivering 375 cubic feet per minute of high-pressure air.

SwRI has conducted large article structural testing for the aerospace, offshore, and oil and gas industries for more than 40 years. For more information contact Dr. Ken Griffin at (210) 522-6873 or

Editors:  Photos to accompany this release can be found at:

For more information contact Deborah S. Deffenbaugh, (210) 522-2046, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.

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