Cormet case studies

Collaboration case with Instron to meet customer needs

Generation IV Supercritical water reactor (SCWR) increases the temperature and pressure needs in material testing. Cormet’s Russian client working in the field of nuclear power generation was after a testing machine that would let them do fracture mechanics and fatigue studies in the supercritical water environment.

The client needed exceptionally fast cyclic fatigue, which is why we selected the hydraulic loading device approach. Cormet chose Instron as a partner to deliver a servohydralic actuator and a hydraulic power unit for the project. The delivery included a hydraulic control module to enable the installation of an additional loading device for the HPU. A 100 kN 8800 series hydraulic actuator was used to apply stress to specimen inside the autoclave.

Instron provided everything related to hydraulics, including a load sensor. Tests are performed using Instron’s Wavematrix software package. Autoclave, specimen holders and the whole mounting frame assembly around the system was Cormet’s responsibility.

Over the years we have gained a lot of knowledge on supercritical water test equipment. With this servohydraulic loading device capable of running tests at 650°C (1200 °F) and 30 MPa (4350 psi), Cormet pushed the boundaries of material testing one step further again.

Upgrade case – increased load and speed

The Customer has an autoclave manufactured by Cormet that is more than 15 years old, along with 50 kN SSRT equipment. The customer would like to carry out cyclic fatigue testing with a load of up to a 100  kN at a higher speed than the old system is capable of.

Cormet changed the gearbox, load cell and motor to achieve a 100 kN load and faster pull-rod movement. A digital micrometer was added to give additional information about the pull rod displacement. A new PC with the latest software version was also included. The old autoclave found a new life: after the upgrade it looked almost as good as our new products. The new software offer the latest test features.

Left: Loading device before upgrade
Right: Autoclave with new loading device attached, upgraded-computer and electronics are missing from the picture.

Upgrade case – from a 10 kN constant load instrument to PC controlled SSRT / constant load / fatigue instrument

The customer had a seven-year old 10 kN constant-load unit, manufactured by Cormet, working at 350°C temperature and 170 bar pressure. The customer wanted to include SSRT tests in the instrument’s capabilities. Because Cormet’s PC-controlled loading device provides both the SSRT and constant-load loading patterns, it was agreed with the customer to upgrade the existing system.

The existing gearbox was refurbished and modified so that a planetary gearbox and motor could be added to it. The load cell and supporting structure had to be changed so that they are suitable for SSRT use. A new computer with latest SSRT software was included in the upgrade.

Left: Constant-load system before upgrade.
Right: New SSRT Autoclave. Computer, cables and electronics are not shown in the photo.

Special sample holder cases – Versatile proof ring usage

Proof ring is the most affordable constant load device we offer. Combined with load cell it can be used to do basic constant load testing. We have customized a variety of sample holders for proof rings to customers needs.

Proof ring with sample holder for thin metal sheet and load cell.

Proof ring for metal sheet specimen with hole in the middle. Specimen inside testing cell and equipped with breaking timer.

Instruments for gamma irradiation and proton beam applications

The University of Manchester Dalton Cumbrian Facility has ion accelerators with beam lines and a Cobalt-60 gamma irradiator. Cormet has built high temperature high pressure testing cells for both the irradiation sources.

The ion beam line will be used for the radiology and corrosion studies. A thin metal film window separates a proton beam and a testing cell with 350°C temperature and 20 MPa pressure water. A recirculation loop maintains the testing cell pressure and the water chemistry and transports the radiolysis products to gas separation devices and further to ion spectrometer.

There are two kind of testing cells. The proton beam testing cell has a window, water inlet and outlet lines and a heating device. Because the metallic window of the electrochemical proton beam testing cell is electrically isolated, it can be electrochemically polarized using the reference and counter electrodes located in the very same testing cell. This setup is used to study the effect of various surface films on the radiolysis products.

The Cobalt-60 gamma irradiator lets researchers understand the mechanistic effects of gamma radiation on exposed materials. It is shielded with massive lead walls. Cormet has built two autoclaves to be positioned in the chamber: a regular autoclave for weight loss and radiolysis tests and an autoclave with electrochemical tools. The recirculation loop is taking care of the autoclave pressurization, the water flow heating, the water chemistry monitoring and preparation and the gathering of the radiolysis products.

The Co-60 irradiator with an autoclave.                            The recirculation loop.                                              The proton beam testing cell.

Tribocorrosion instrument

Cormet’s Customer develops and manufactures mud motors for oil and gas drilling purposes. The operation environment in a mud motor is very aggressive due to the high operation temperature, corrosive environment and high wear between the rotating and static parts.

Cormet has built a disc-on-disc tribocorrosion instrument for the simulation of the mud motor environment. The instrument is used as a R&D tool for the development better alloys, inhibitors and material combinations for mud drilling motors.

The instrument sensor head consists of two rotating discs that are immersed in a simulated operation environment formed of liquid and solid particles. The discs are rotated independently using two VFD’s. The load between the discs is controlled and monitored on-line. The power consumption is monitored using torque sensors. The testing cell temperature is controlled but obviously it is normally strongly cooled due to the friction heat created by the contacting discs.

The corrosion rate is determined by measuring the disc wear either with micrometer or with weight loss method.

The mud motor tribocorrosion instrument installed at Customer’s premises.   Two rotating discs on the testing cell.