Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has opened a 60,000-ft2 outdoor complex for fluid dynamics research and development testing of flow components. The facility was built to complement a suite of test facilities and laboratories developed for the evaluation of instrumentation, equipment, and devices for oil and gas companies.
“This unique resource allows us the flexibility to set up temporary custom test facilities for our clients,” said Angel Wileman, a senior research engineer in SwRI’s mechanical engineering division. “We look forward to providing services for our oil and gas industry clients from upstream to downstream.”
The facility has a 3,800-ft2 bay with a 10-ton overhead crane and a reinforced concrete pad that can support heavy equipment. The area is ideal for setting up temporary flow loops for fluid dynamics research such as erosion testing or flow performance testing.
The facility is also plumbed to a nitrogen gas supply, which originates from a 6,000-gal liquid source tank at the adjacent Flow Component Test Facility. A nearby control room allows for remote control and test monitoring.
A fenced-in area within the facility supports research activities performed with flammable fluids, such as fugitive emissions testing. The area is wired according to NEC Class I Division II electrical classification and includes a 1,000-ft2 canopy.