SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 11 October 2021

New Large-Scale 750-Bar Oxygen Pressure Surge Test Facility


The oxygen pressure surge test (OPST) is considered to be best practice for evaluating the burnout safety of plant components and testing the compatibility of nonmetallic materials for oxygen service. Nevertheless, there are only a few laboratories worldwide performing the OPST. The Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) already operates oxygen pressure surge test facilities with maximum OPST pressures of 450 bars. However, to ensure technical innovation and to enhance research and development, the decision was made to develop a new and large-scale oxygen pressure surge test facility. Because of its size and the high potential impact energies, the test facility is located outside of Berlin at the BAM Test Site for Technical Safety, where large-scale testing is carried out. In addition to an intended maximum OPST pressure of 750 bars, there is the possibility of testing industrial equipment with large inner volumes and diameters. The new quick opening valve constitutes the core of the system and was developed by BAM. It allows performing tests with the standardized pressure rise times of 15–20 ms or with adjustable pressure rise times at higher or lower values. As a result, it is possible to provide customized test parameters for specific practical applications as well as research projects. This paper shows the status quo of this unique test facility, its performance, its technical specifications, and its new possibilities for research and development for a long-term enhancement of burnout safety in oxygen applications.

Author Information

Woitzek, Andreas
Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Berlin, DE
Kittler-Packmor, Kai
Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Berlin, DE
Kasch, Thomas
Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Berlin, DE
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Pages: 326–340
DOI: 10.1520/STP162620200016
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7699-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7698-0