Solution Focus: ValvTechnologies' Test Bunker

HVOFThe upstream oil and gas industry has benefited from the introduction of the API 6Arange of valves from ValvTechnologies.
Extremely high pressures seen in wellhead and christmas tree applications require careful planning with safe operating behaviors and practices.

A test bunker is a safety cell designed to absorb energy in the event of a sudden depressurization of a valve and the subsequent containment of projectiles. The goal is to ensure the safety of people and property in the event of a sudden depressurization. ValvTechnologies designed and built a custom-made test bunker for high-pressure testing, capable of blast containment equivalent to ½ lbs (225 grams) of TNT explosives.

ValvTechnologies’ test bunker is located at the manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas. The structure is made from half-inch
thick steel, with inside walls covered with timber beams, intended to absorb impacts and rebound any projectiles, reducing the chance of piercing through the robust safety bunker. Top-venting allows for the rapid dissipation of air, away from people. Expanded metal is constructed as framed units are bolted together with braces to form a roof system, which completely covers the opening between the angled shield plates. Gusset supports strengthen the entire length of each wall section and door. The 288-square foot (27m2) facility can be used for testing at elevated temperatures, loads, forces, torque, pressure, cycling and fugitive emissions.


  • Computers, cameras
  • “Labview” software
  • Borescope with light
  • Gauges
  • Cables, wiring, thermocouples
  • Transducers
  • Ring joint flanges
  • Autoclave
  • Helium mass spectrometer
  • High-pressure fittings and valves
  • Haskell gas pump, compressor
  • Electric motors to cycle valve
  • Underwater dunk tank
  • Redundancy on valve draining
  • Switches, breakers, safety wires
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Hearing protection
  • Oxygen sensors
  • Jig to hold the valve
  • Portable gantry crane, 4000lb
  • Nitrogen gas
  • Water suppliers and taps
  • Internet cables and sockets

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