The roof has been raised. In a significant milestone, the roof has been fitted onto Element Materials Technology’s $5 million Oil & Gas Technology Center in Houston, meaning that construction is ahead of schedule for its official open date in July.
The laboratory, sitting on a 5.3-acre site adjacent to the city’s energy corridor, will offer unparalleled capabilities in fracture mechanics and corrosion testing to service growing demand among Element’s clients.
Element’s technology center has already received testing equipment, which has enabled the company’s experts to begin round-robin testing with sister sites at oil and gas hubs in Breda, Netherlands, and Aberdeen, Scotland, developing methodologies, standard operating procedures, validating data and certifying results ahead of the center’s launch. Additional equipment will also be installed prior to the scheduled opening.
“The building of the USA’s first such center of its kind and Element’s largest investment in a single site to date is a momentous undertaking,” said Colin Speedie, Element’s vice president of U.S. operations. “The team is ahead of schedule in both its construction and preparations, meaning that we can take early delivery of certain test devices so that the center is advanced in its effort to offer a full suite of ISO-accredited single edge notch tensile (SENT) and crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) tests from the day of opening.”
Officially announced in May 2013, construction work began on the center in October, when the foundation was laid. An announcement followed that the laboratory is to benefit from a $1 million investment from the state of Texas, in order to contribute to cutting-edge research on the application of high performance polymers for energy applications.
The next major stage in the center’s construction will be the building of offices, laboratory spaces and installing automated fire safety systems. A state-of-the-art machining department is also planned. This will allow for the manufacturing of high precision next-generation material specimens within the facility, drastically reducing logistical operations and lead times for customers.
“The completed center will be the product of Element’s customer-led strategy towards its investment in capability and capacity expansions, so it is gratifying to see the excitement among majors and their supply chain partners at the leap forward in oil and gas materials testing this laboratory represents,” Speedie said.