Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI adds test cell to flow component test capabilities

For immediate release

San Antonio — July 30, 2012 — A new cell for testing valves and other pressure-containing and pressure-controlling products has been added to Southwest Research Institute's Flow Component Testing Facilities.

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 more than 35 years.

"This new test cell augments a suite of test facilities housed in one centralized location," said Shane Siebenaler, a group leader in SwRI's Fluids and Machinery Engineering Department who oversees the facility. "We test numerous products to API, ASME, ANSI and ISO standards."

The cell can evaluate products up to 30,000 psi with gas hydraulic pressure. Other capabilities of the cell include cryogenic testing (to −320°F), elevated temperature testing (up to 750°F), fugitive emissions testing and thermal cycling, among others.

The cell is 15-feet wide by 15-feet deep and 25-feet high, and has a five-ton crane, a crew access door and a large equipment door. "Even though the crane is only a five ton, the door is large enough to use forklifts to move in test articles of far greater weight," Siebenaler said. "The cell is also designed to take a blast load in the event a test article releases pressure catastrophically. The cell complements a recently constructed facility for testing downhole tools, such as subsurface safety valves, at pressures up to 35,000 psi."

For more information about flow component testing at SwRI, contact Siebenaler at (210) 522-5758 or or visit

For more information, contact SwRI Solutions.