Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI adds flow component test cell

Jan. 28, 2014 — A cell for testing valves and other pressure-containing and pressure-controlling products has been added to Southwest Research Institute’s flow component testing facilities. The new test cell is identical to one completed in July 2012, and was added to meet an increasing demand for the test services.

To ensure the safety of pipelines, refineries, offshore platforms and chemical processing plants, valves and similar devices operating under high pressure must be tested to established standards. SwRI has offered these testing services to the oil and gas and chemical industries for nearly 40 years.

“This new test cell, dubbed cell C, complements a suite of test facilities housed in one centralized location,” said Shane Siebenaler, manager of the Fluid Dynamics Section in SwRI’s Mechanical Engineering Division. “We test various products to API, ASME, ANSI and ISO standards.”

The cell is capable of evaluating products up to 30,000 psi with gas hydraulic pressure. Other capabilities include cryogenic testing to minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit, elevated temperature testing up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit, fugitive emissions testing and thermal cycling, among others.

The cell measures 15-feet wide by 15-feet deep by 25-feet high, and has a 5-ton crane, a crew access door and a large equipment door. “The door is large enough to allow the use of forklifts for moving in heavy test articles. The cell is also designed to withstand a blast load in the event of a catastrophic pressure release,” Siebenaler added.

For more information about flow component testing at SwRI, contact Shane Siebenaler at +1 210 522 5758 or SwRI Solutions, or visit