Flagship lab leads the way

A flagship oil and gas testing laboratory has achieved two key United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) corrosion accreditations, increasing the speed of results response for clients.

Exova passed the stringent accreditations, ASTM A262 Practice E and ASTM G28 Method A, after UKAS inspectors visited its Teesside laboratory in March.

The ASTM A262 Practice E testing method is used to determine the susceptibility of austenitic stainless steel materials to inter-granular attack.

This test involves subjecting a prepared specimen to an ambient acidified copper sulphate solution which is then brought to the boil and maintained for 24 hours. The specimen is then formed around a suitably sized mandrel and examined under low magnification. The appearance of ‘fissures’ or cracking indicates the presence of inter-granular attack.

The ASTM G28 Method A is a standard test method used in detecting susceptibility to inter-granular corrosion in wrought, nickel rich and chromium bearing alloys.

This test requires a suitably prepared sample to be immersed in an actively boiling solution of ferric sulphate for five days. After this time, the sample is then accurately weighed to determine weight loss from which a rate of corrosion can then be established.

Ian Farquharson, Exova’s operations manager at the Teesside laboratory, said: “These accreditations have a big impact on our clients. It’s not just service expansion, it means our clients that require corrosion testing can take advantage of our turnaround times using test methods which are fully accredited by UKAS.”

The new accreditations follow a major investment in the Teesside laboratory in February, maintaining its position as a centre of excellence for materials testing, metallurgical testing and analytical services.

Part of that investment was in the metallurgical laboratory where a new chemical preparation area and the installation of new fume cupboards contributed to the laboratory’s ability to achieve the new test accreditations.