BUOYANCY AID TESTING FOR NAVAL SUBMARINE MODULES

Tyne Pressure Testing has partnered with a number of buoyancy module manufacturers to support various buoyancy aid testing and product validation programmes.

Traditionally used on naval submarines, or as part of a riser system in the oil and gas industry, the modules tested on this occasion required instrumented buoyancy aid testing to confirm that they do not allow the penetration of water whilst under pressure. This type of testing ensures that the buoyancy aids are fit for purpose and will not sink whilst supporting infrastructure, once deployed.

Measuring 4.5 metres long, the modules were tested in hyperbaric testing chamber 5 due to its length and fully automated loading, pressurisation and monitoring system.  Chamber 5 also has the ability to simulate ultra-deep water temperatures down to -2°C.

Each buoyancy unit was weighed before being subjected to pressure equivalent to 3,000 metres below sea level. After 24 hours of exposure, all of the units were found to weigh the same as they did before the pressure was applied, which confirmed the design, material and coating treatment were water-tight and had been completely unaffected by the pressure. As a result, our testing engineers confirmed that the units were effective buoyancy aids and therefore suitable to be installed on submarines.

The testing was overseen by our experienced on-site testing engineers; Kevin Brotherton, Jack Lowes and Angelo Addeo, with client inspection teams subsequently viewing test progress and data charts offsite. Live remote surveillance of ongoing tests can be provided for clients that prefer to witness testing offsite. This is also complemented by the provision of post-test data recordings and certification.

Our nine hyperbaric pressure testing chambers provide the flexibility to suit various components in terms of both size and pressure. This, along with an understanding of client requirements and the demands of global industry standards API 17L & API 17U, means Tyne Pressure Testing continues to be a preferred partner for engineering contractors requiring both destructive testing and non-destructive testing for subsea products.

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QUALIFICATION & HYPERBARIC TESTING OF VALVES FOR DEEP SEA

Tyne Pressure Testing worked with BuTech, a US manufacturer, to test a series of ball valves to ensure that they could withstand the extreme pressures and temperatures of a deep sea setting.

Testing was carried out on a two-way 10K ball valve, as well as a three-way 10K ball valve to ensure that they would meet industry standards set out in API 6A/17D.

Ideal for testing small diameter ball valves, TPT Chamber 4 was used to run 200 hyperbaric cycles, with pressures reflecting water depths of 4,140m, along with 600 endurance cycles. TPT Bay 1 was also used to carry out a total of 200 environmental cycles, comprising of 160 cycles at ambient temperatures, 20 cycles at 121°C and 20 cycles at -18°C, ensuring that the ball valves met industry standard API 6A PR2.

During inspection, the data confirmed that both ball valves passed and therefore met client and industry standards. This confirms that the valves can withstand extreme pressure and temperature variations and are therefore suitable for deployment in a hostile, subsea environment.

The testing was overseen by our experienced on-site engineers and a client witness present for the critical steps of the process. The witness was provided with a post-test document pack containing raw test data, test record sheets and certification.

Scott Reib, Product Manager at BuTech, said: “The offshore oil industry requires that valves being used on critical equipment deployed to the ocean floor go through extensive testing to insure their performance.  Tyne Pressure Testing was instrumental in helping us achieve this qualification for our subsea ball valves.  Tyne Pressure Testing is one of only a hand full of companies that can perform this type of testing and their knowledge and professionalism made them our obvious choice”.

Gavin Coleman, Business Development Manager at Tyne Pressure Testing, said: “We were delighted to provide BuTech with a successful conclusion of both comprehensive test sequences to validate the product’s design robustness. With many products destined for critical service applications, we are excited to support BuTech on an array of new technology qualification programmes.”

With conventional test bays and environmental chambers, coupled with nine hyperbaric chambers on-site, we can facilitate prolonged test sequences that satisfy qualification in accordance with industry standards API 6A, 6D, 6DSS and 17D. With a workforce holding decades of experience in the execution of oil and gas production componentry testing, Tyne Pressure Testing continues to be a preferred partner for manufacturers requiring valve and actuator FAT and qualification.

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TYNE PRESSURE TESTING EMPLOYEES DONATE TO LOCAL FOODBANKS

Tyne Pressure Testing employees, along with employees from across the British Engines Group, came together to donate to local foodbanks across the North East as part of Christmas Jumper Day.

Newcastle East Foodbank, part of a nationwide network of food banks managed by The Trussell Trust, was chosen to receive donations. Located in Heaton, the project was founded by local churches and community groups to help stop hunger in the local area. They provide people in crisis with three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced emergency food and support.

Since March, the demand for food banks has been higher than ever due to the devastating effects of the Covid pandemic. Whether hit by redundancy, school closures or other crises, more people than ever were sadly forced to rely on foodbanks over the festive season.

A total of 258kg of food along with a further £232 was donated by Tyne Pressure Testing and employees from across the British Engines group. This equates to a total of ten, large family food parcels and excludes donations of toiletries, chocolate and children’s toys which went towards helping families provide their loved ones with small Christmas gifts.

Jodie McAndrew, Group Marketing Manager at British Engines, said: “We are very grateful to all of our employees for their kind and generous donations which we hope went some way towards helping people within the local community to have an easier and more enjoyable Christmas despite current circumstances.”

In order to go some way further towards helping those struggling in the local community, the British Engines group donated an additional £10,000 to three local food banks, including Newcastle East Foodbank, Feeding Families and Hebburn Helps.

TYNE PRESSURE TESTING ACHIEVES RECOGNITION FOR COMMITMENT TO WORKER SAFETY

Tyne Pressure Testing has achieved ISO 45001 Certification, recognising its on-going commitment to managing hazards in the workplace and worker safety.

ISO 45001 Certification is an internationally recognised occupational health and safety management standard. It provides a framework to the effective management of occupational health and safety, including compliance with the legislation that applies to a company’s activities and identified hazards.

The assessment was carried out by Bureau Veritas, a global leader in testing, inspection and certification (TIC). As part of the certification process, Bureau Veritas looked at whether Tyne Pressure Testing had defined its occupational health and safety policies and objectives, had processes in place to ensure continual improvement, and if its management system was regulatory compliant. This breaks down in to a review of the following fundamental OHSMS (Occupational Health and Safety Management System) process:

  • Risk management
  • Leadership
  • OHSMS policy
  • OHSMS plan
  • The implementation of the plan
  • Integrated approach
  • The monitoring of the plan and correcting actions
  • The continuous review and improvement of its OHSMS

Bureau Veritas, comments: “We take a partner approach when conducting our assessments, and integrated ourselves within Tyne Pressure Testing to truly understand all aspects of its OHSMS process. Following our in-depth examination, we concluded that it met all of the requirements, as set out by the ISO 45001 framework, and issued the certification. We’d like to congratulate Tyne Pressure Testing on this achievement.”

Paul Smith, CEO at Tyne Pressure Testing, said: “Obtaining ISO 45001 has refined the way we work as well as improved the structure and effectiveness of our OHSMS systems. This standard has helped us to facilitate continuous improvement making the working environment safer through risk reduction, as well as giving our employees and customers the confidence that our OHSMS meets the requirements of a globally recognised standard”.

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TYNE SUBSEA BECOMES TYNE PRESSURE TESTING

From 2nd March 2020 Tyne Subsea will become known as Tyne Pressure Testing in order to appeal to a wider variety of industry sectors.

Since becoming fully operational last year, Tyne Subsea has had huge success in selling its services to the subsea sector; developing relationships with a range of major customers.

In addition, it continues to receive a significant number of enquiries and orders from outside the subsea sector; including aerospace, mining and nuclear.

Paul Smith, CEO at Tyne Subsea, said: “Feedback suggests that the name Tyne Subsea might mislead potential customers into thinking that the business only undertakes a certain kind of pressure testing within a particular sector.  Which is obviously very far from the truth; over the last 12 months we have been able to design a variety of testing solutions, including complex tooling requirements, for a wide range of sectors.

“Rebranding the business to Tyne Pressure Testing will reduce confusion around the services we provide and position us simply as a pressure testing specialist, to whichever sector requires it. This new branding and corporate identity enables us to market ourselves to other sectors more easily.”

Wondering how these changes might affect you?

Tyne Subsea has already begun to contact all customers and suppliers about these changes, but if you have a query about how these changes might affect you as a customer or a supplier, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

TYNE SUBSEA QUALIFICATION TESTS 18” BALL VALVE

We are currently pressure testing an 18 inch Ball Valve in TSS5, the largest of our nine hyperbaric chambers.

The valve, which is 2.25 meters in both height and width, has been going through vigorous qualification testing at our facilities in Newcastle and is now undergoing hyperbaric testing at simulated water depths of 2,400 meters (34,811 psi), as well as hydrostatic testing to pressures of 6,380 psi.

Prior to the pressure testing, our engineers completed a PR2 test on the valve, which consisted of gas and temperature testing at +105˚C down to -20˚C in Environmental Test Bay 1. It is expected that it will take approximately five weeks to complete all necessary testing in order to verify that the valve can successfully operate within the extreme environments in which it will be deployed.

Once the hyperbaric testing has been completed, the valve requires endurance testing over 800 breakout cycles; which will mean that once it has finished its qualification testing, the 18 inch valve will have run a total of 1,200 breakout cycles.

TYNE SUBSEA WELCOMES FUTURE LEADERS TO NORTH EAST FACILITIES

This week Tyne Subsea welcomed members of the British Valves and Actuators Association’s (BVAA) Future Leaders Programme to its facilities at Killingworth, Newcastle.

General Manager, Paul Smith, spoke to members of the young leadership programme about the multi-million pound facilities, as well as Tyne Subsea’s environmental and pressure testing capabilities. This was followed by a tour of the facility and the pressure testing equipment within.

The Future Leaders Programme has been designed for young professionals from valve and actuator businesses in the UK who have been recognised as future leaders by their employers. The year-long programme focuses on their professional development, with organised development courses, industry experience days and tours of significant centres of excellence to support their learning and maximise their leadership potential.

Paul Smith said: “This was a great opportunity to showcase Tyne Subsea’s pressure testing and product validation capabilities to the next generation of leaders in valves and actuators businesses. We’ve received some amazing feedback from our guests, who were all very impressed with our facilities and what we do.”

WHY DO WE NEED HYPERBARIC TESTING?

We need hyperbaric testing to validate the design and manufacturing of products that are intended to work in subsea conditions, or other high pressure environments, giving manufacturers and their customers peace of mind that the product will perform correctly.

What are the benefits of hyperbaric testing?

Deploying equipment deep under water, or in other hazardous environments, is costly and often challenging. Therefore, it is vital to verify a product or component’s reliability under extreme pressure before it is deployed. This will increase efficiency and reduce the risk of unnecessary costs.

Hyperbaric testing is often used to test components that are then placed in to larger systems or pieces of equipment. Customers need to be sure that each component will perform as intended; if one small, but vital, component fails to function, it could result in costly and hazardous results.

Paul Smith, general manager of Tyne Subsea, explains: “It’s vital that manufacturing businesses meet their customers’ requirements and deliver products that work effectively, safely and provide the results which they have promised.

“Aside from this, the testing we perform also supports innovation for sectors where extreme conditions are the norm.  As a team, it is especially rewarding when we work with customers to develop a testing programme that will contribute to the successful introduction of a new innovation, which will open up new opportunities. Recently we worked on a project testing electrical components to pressures that exceed that found at the deepest known ocean depth on Earth which will be used in a manned submarine to explore the Mariana Trench.”

The need for hyperbaric testing facilities

Tyne Subsea not only provides the standard hyperbaric services, but can also provide additional testing, certification and research services which further increase efficiency. We also offer multi-chamber testing capabilities, and the ability to provide 24/7 testing. Click here to find out more.

It is vital for facilities like Tyne Subsea to be able to provide dedicated facilities which operate the cutting-edge and specialist equipment that customers require to validate their products. It is also important that the services that these facilities provide are performed by technical experts, like Tyne Subsea’s technicians, who have over 20 years of experience in hyperbaric testing, who understand the industry and comprehend the customers’ needs.

Click here to also read: What is hyperbaric testing?

WHAT IS HYPERBARIC TESTING?

Hyperbaric testing is the only way to ensure the reliability of products working under subsea conditions, or in other high pressure situations. The deeper underwater you go, the more the water pressure increases.

Hyperbaric testing is used to simulate these high pressures in specialist hyperbaric chambers.

How does hyperbaric testing work?

Products are placed in the chambers, which are often cylindrical in shape, before water is injected and then pressurised using pumps.

For every 10 meters below sea level, a water pressure of 1 bar is exerted. So, if a product was going to be deployed at 1,000 meters below sea level, the weight of the pressure on that product would be 100 bar.

Paul Smith, General Manager of Tyne Subsea, explains: “Hyperbaric testing has been used for many years to verify that equipment which is intended for use in high pressure environments can function properly and operate safely.”

Hyperbaric testing at Tyne Subsea

Tyne Subsea operates nine hyperbaric chambers, each with varying capabilities and specifications; including one of the largest commercially available hyperbaric testing chambers in Europe, which has an internal diameter of 2.5m and the ability to test to 450 bar.

Tyne Subsea offers chambers which are capable of testing to depths of up to 15,000m below sea level, which exceeds the pressures of the deepest known point on Earth.

 

Why not contact us so that we can discuss how Tyne Subsea can meet your hyperbaric testing needs?

TYNE SUBSEA COMPLETES FIRST COMMERCIAL HYPERARIC TESTING IN LARGE CHAMBER

Tyne Subsea, a multi-million pound research and testing facility being developed in the North East, has successfully completed its first commercial test in one of Europe’s largest commercially available hyperbaric pressure testing chambers.

The facility, which is being developed by engineering group British Engines and Newcastle University, will offer customers world-leading pressure testing services in an integrated facility in Killingworth and will operate nine hyperbaric chambers of varying specifications.

Tyne Subsea’s first commercial test in its largest chamber measured buoyancy loss in a subsea module. The module, which was 2 by 0.5 metres, was tested at pressures of 4,641 PSI over 24 hours to establish how much water was absorbed when the component was subjected to prolonged deep-water submersion.

The largest chamber is capable of testing high pressures, whilst accommodating large objects, with an internal length of 4.5 metres (almost 15 foot). The chamber can simulate water depths to 4,500 meters, can reach pressures of 450 bar and can simulate subsea water temperatures down to -2 degrees Celsius. The chamber is unique; often bigger vessels are limited in their abilities and can only simulate low pressure ratings due to their size.

Paul Smith, general manager of Tyne Subsea, said: “The commissioning and subsequent first commercial test in our large chamber is a real milestone for the business.  We have spent the last 12 months completely renovating the Killingworth site. As well as commissioning and installing the hyperbaric chambers, we have put in new office and conferencing space, as well as automation systems and other testing equipment.  We have the final two smaller vessels to install, but we are now able to offer the majority of our services to our global customers.”

Hyperbaric testing is the only way to ensure the reliability of products working under subsea conditions, or performing in high pressure situations. Hyperbaric chambers are used to simulate water depths and pressures to test and verify that products can operate safely under extreme pressurised conditions.

Tyne Subsea is a local partnership pioneering the links between industry and academia. It benefits from the years of industry and engineering experience rooted in the North East through British Engines; as well as access to knowledge from one of the UK’s leading research universities, Newcastle University, and funding from the North East LEP. Tyne Subsea focusses on delivering pressure testing services, certification and subsea research to allow the development of our understanding into subsea environments.

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