Bellows Manufacturing and Research, Inc. | Testing

Product verification and qualification is an essential step in designing and engineering hardware components. In industries such as construction, and mining, parts often are used under extreme temperature, pressure, and load conditions, and must be guaranteed to perform reliably before being deployed. Engineers must have a detailed understanding of the products or systems they produce and awareness of any factors that could cause potential problems.

While CAD software and other tools can mimic real-life conditions and forces, the components will be verified to detect possible problems. These simulations are conclusively only predictions. Testing of products under the same environment is the most accurate means of verifying and qualifying manufactured components.

Bellows Manufacturing and Research, Inc. has comprehensive testing methods for the performance of structural testing of all of its designs. The company manufactures a full range of components. Including many types of Bellows assemblies and Bellows subassemblies (such as single Bellows, cryogenic Bellows, metal and high temperature Bellows); universal expansion joints; hose assemblies and many more. To ensure its engineers have the necessary resources to test parts under an extensive range of conditions, BMR has created multiple divisions to produce custom equipment.

One of the custom Bellows testing tools developed by BMR is a specialized test station that conducts up to five tests simultaneously to analyze product performance. This station’s capabilities paved the way for BMR to perform crucial assembly verification for aerospace agencies including NASA, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic.

Many other tests are performed to ensure product reliability, including:

  • Helium leak detection — employs 10-8 cc vacuum to locate potential micro cracks in the material or operational errors in Bellows assemblies.
  • Burst chamber testing — safely tests burst pressure of Bellows assemblies up to 60 inches, using a 15,000 PSIG hydrostatic pump.
  • Bellows life cycle test — one of the most essential and thorough analysis of Bellows assemblies.

This procedure includes the following:

  • Spring rate
  • Static internal and external pressure
  • Dynamic internal and external pressure
  • Lateral movement, both with and without shear offsets
  • Axial movement, with and without offsets and preloads
  • Angular and full (360 degree) rotation, with and without offsets
  • Bellows and pressure vessel pressure cyclic testing from 0-15,000 and back to 0 within a specified time frame
  • Mass spectrometer 1+10-9 cc

BMR records all test results for review by the company’s engineers and customer quality control managers. In most cases, customers can also view the product tests directly via secure streaming video channel.

Hydro Testing
Half Inch Hastelloy Bellows Fatigue Testing
Testing at Bellows Manufacturing and Research, Inc.
Testing at Bellows Manufacturing and Research, Inc.

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