Exova, the global testing, calibration and advisory services provider, has invested in a new mechanical testing capability to provide the power generation industry with stress analysis data on projected component lifespan.
Demand is increasing from the sector, which includes nuclear power stations, gas turbines and fossil fuel power stations, where pressure vessels and associated pipework can be subjected to stresses for thousands of hours at a time. This constant use makes the need for crack growth testing of equipment essential to both safety and performance.
Unlike crack propagation testing, which involves subjecting components to intermittent stress to measure the length of a crack versus fatigue cycles, Exova’s new Creep Crack Growth capability delivers constant stress over periods from 500 hours to in excess of 2000 hours in order to determine the rate of growth over time. The resulting data allows engineers to calculate the service life and the speed at which a crack will grow and to factor the stress analysis into future component design.
Owen O’Grady, a technical director with Exova said: “Safety and continuity of supply are essential in power generation plants, and their supply chain. We are experiencing significant demand from the sector for more specialised testing of welded materials and our new capability will provide valuable analysis to our customers.
“Few commercial laboratories offer Creep Crack Growth testing and we have made this investment in both equipment and training to provide a more comprehensive service to organisations worldwide.”
The new tests will be delivered from Exova’s Newcastle base which specialises in providing testing services to the aerospace, oil and gas, and power generation sectors.