The Technique and Importance of Hydrostatic Pressure Testing

For a variety of reasons, it will often be necessary to subject a gas or a liquid to some degree of compression. Usually, this is because pressurisation is required for a particular process to work as efficiently as possible. However, once one starts to build up the number of pounds acting on each square inch of the surface of a pipeline or a containment vessel, proof that these are sufficiently durable to survive the stress is vital. To establish that proof, a form of hydrostatic pressure testing will be essential.

The Need for Reliable Testing

It is not too hard to imagine the likely consequences if one of the welds in a boiler full of superheated steam were to collapse at the height of a production run. A boiler explosion could not only mean damage to nearby equipment and perhaps even to the factory premises, but it could also threaten the lives of workers present within the blast range. Likewise, any weakness in an oil or gas pipeline could lead to massive financial losses, not to mention the possible inconvenience resulting from a prolonged interruption to the supply. Once again, hydrostatic pressure testing offers a means to avoid such possibilities.

How Hydrostatic Pressure Testing Is Conducted

Suppose it should be necessary to determine how well a piece of equipment will stand up to any given condition. In that case, there is no better way to do so than to expose it to the said condition, under controlled circumstances, and to monitor its behaviour. While this sort of procedure does require special equipment and someone with the relevant experience to operate it, the actions outlined form the basis of hydrostatic pressure testing.

When conducting this type of test, the first step will be to completely fill the vessel or pipe with water under pressure. It is customary to adjust this to a level slightly higher than that applied during regular use to establish a margin of safety. Once set up, the next step will be to conduct a thorough inspection of the equipment to check for any evidence of leaks. This technique is not only useful to test the vessels and pipelines used with liquids, however. Checks on the integrity of gas cylinders and pipes are also commonly performed using this type of hydrostatic pressure testing.

Because pipes and vessels will tend to weaken with age, the need to test them at regular intervals is a given. However, even brand-new equipment is certified in this way, at the time of manufacture. Whether new or well-used, vessels and pipes are often of a unique design and not suitable for testing with standard equipment. In these circumstances, a specialist such as Bestline has the knowledge and skills to customise hydrostatic pressure testing equipment to meet with each client’s specific requirements.

Bestline Manufacturing

The Johannesburg-based company is equipped to conduct tests under field conditions and also has extensive experience in mitigating the potential risks posed when it may be necessary to operate in an explosive environment. A combination of world-class precision test equipment and almost half a century of experience in the industry has seen Bestline become a preferred service provider in the crucially important field of hydrostatic pressure testing.