North East England’s new hub for hyperbaric research, test and certification

Tyne Subsea’s National Research Centre

Tyne Subsea’s chamber 3 – 0.9m diameter and 3.5m length

Tyne Subsea’s commercially available hyperbaric chambers
71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water with an average water depth of around 3,600m, which means that a significant amount of the Earth’s natural resources lie deep underwater.

Recognising this, the subsea and offshore community in the North East of England identified the need to support industries whose aim is to deliver safe and reliable performance of equipment, components and materials under water.

The result is the formation of Tyne Subsea in Newcastle-upon- Tyne, a partnership between BEL Valves and Newcastle University, drawing on the strengths of each to provide the North East of England’s hub for hyperbaric research, test and certification.

These two distinct, but mutually supporting hyperbaric services provide six hyperbaric chambers ranging in length, internal diameter and pressure rating to cover a broad spectrum of customer testing, certification and research requirements. The first, designated a National Centre by UK Government is dedicated to research, drawing on the University’s expertise across faculties from geosciences and evolutionary biology, to engineering and sustainability. The second centre is commercially focussed, delivering hyperbaric test and certification services backed by 20 years’ experience gained from valve testing at BEL Valves.

Combined, the facilities offer the most comprehensive hyperbaric service in Europe with the ability to test to 6,000m equivalent water depths. The largest chamber is 2.5m in diameter and 4.5m long allowing for testing of larger subsea equipment, whilst the range of chambers available, 6 in total, ensures that waiting time is kept to a minimum and parallel testing can be accommodated. Access to the equipment being tested from outside the chambers is provided by a number of connections/penetrations which enables the operation and monitoring of electrical, electronic, mechanical or hydraulic equipment whilst in the chambers.

Environmental conditions also play their part in component longevity and operation. Tyne Subsea has therefore included the functionality to bring the water temperature of their largest chamber down to -2 degrees C to match near ‘real life’ conditions. A stand-alone environmental chamber completes the provision for equipment testing in corrosive environments, beyond or in combination with saline environments.

Ensuring the safe and reliable operation of equipment to be installed at these kinds of depths and in these conditions clearly makes economic and environmental sense. Therefore the ability to conduct innovative research, conduct comprehensive testing and to certify product for operation at depth is an invaluable support service for our offshore and subsea communities.

If you would like to know more about the facilities and services offered by Tyne Subsea please visit their website: www.tynesubsea. com, email or call + 44 (0) 191 209 7490.

Tel: + 44 (0) 191 265 9091

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 42

Autumn 2018 // Issue 46
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