Enabling extreme testing conditions in a safe way

Pressure-containing equipment such as pipelines, risers, valves, fittings and pressure vessels are often subject to complex loading conditions during their service life. Extreme testing conditions are required to accurately reproduce these operating conditions. Small-scale test results can only be extrapolated to some extent to predict the behaviour of large components. Moreover, extrapolation usually doesn’t comply with the safety requirements for critical pressure applications. In these cases, full-scale testing provides the optimal level of assurance.

OCAS is expanding its high-pressure testing capabilities for large components. Two new testing pits have been designed and built as part of the OCAS XT (Extreme Testing) facility, making a total of four testing pits at OCAS. The largest is 16.5 m long and 4.5 m wide. They are designed to be blast resistant and suitable for containment of fragments and pressure to allow burst tests without hazard to the operators outside the test pit. The most advanced testing pit has an automated explosion-resistant cover and is fully equipped with an advanced camera system to remotely monitor test progress.


Inside the pits large components can be subjected to high internal and/or external pressure in combination with axial loading, bending, elevated temperature, fatigue and dynamic tearing allowing extreme testing conditions typical for high pressure – high temperature (HPHT) applications, leak tightness tests, proof of concept tests in a contained environment. Pressure can be applied with either liquid or gas as pressurization media. Pressures up to 3000 bar can be applied.

OCAS has a range of modular pressure equipment to accommodate custom purpose-built testing set-ups as well as standardized pressure testing. Next to that OCAS is expanding their testing capabilities towards the resonant fatigue testing of large-scale welded nodes for offshore jackets. As part of this offer, a resonant bending set-up is being developed suitable for testing under high internal pressure. Components such as pipeline sections, risers and pressure vessels with a length up to 12.5 m can be tested. The facilities are serviced by two overhead cranes with a capacity of 12.5 tonnes, hence components up to a total weight of 25 tonnes can be handled and tested.

“OCAS is equipped to submit large components to extreme testing conditions without compromising on safety”

Jeroen Van Wittenberghe, Senior Team leader large scale testing, OCAS