Burst Pressure Testing


Burst Pressure Testing

What is Burst Testing?

Burst testing is a type of destructive pressure test that is used to determine the absolute maximum pressure at which a given component will “burst” or fail catastrophically when pressurized under controlled conditions. This type of test can be invaluable for design engineers to assist with material selection, wall thickness, or component geometry, including cross-holes, stress risers, etc. This test can be used to determine the pressure at which a component or assembly begins to plastically deform and its ultimate tensile strength.


Benefits of Burst Testing

  • Identify the maximum burst pressure
  • Meet quality standards ‘factor of safety’ standards
  • Confirm design margin of production part
  • Determine failure mode (the way in which a part fails)
  • Find the ‘weakest link’ in a production or assembly


How much pressure does it take for a component to burst? Knowing the maximum burst pressure is a vital consideration for any component under pressure, it can help establish safety design margins and even be the key to implementing this component into new applications.  Identifying the maximum burst pressure of a component can give manufacturers and customer’s confidence in the design and value of an assembly.  If failure is not an option then you must identify the maximum burst pressure; as an additional step a formal reliability analysis may be required.

Determining the failure mode of a component is critical for pressurized components, especially when they are used in applications with assemblies that are out in the open and exposed to personnel.  Knowing the way in which a component will burst or leak can be very important, for example upon failure does a sample crack and lose pressure or does it fail catastrophically sending shrapnel in all directions… an important consideration depending on your product or application.

Burst testing will identify the ‘weak link’ in a component or assembly: providing valuable information regarding its design and efficacy.  Improvements of a design are not always used to remedy physical weaknesses or flaws, on occasion the component can be over-engineered hurting the economy of the part and in fact it may benefit the manufacturer by implementing different materials or features in order to reduce the per-piece cost.

Regardless of what phase of production a component is in; burst testing is a common cost effective way to obtain the necessary data to improve the economy of parts.  Pre-production burst testing may be required to meet quality and/or safety standards at product launch and occasionally ongoing lot testing is required after the component has gone into production.  Maximator Test can help with both the PPAP requirements and production lot testing after the component is in full production.

Burst testing may also be combined with proof pressure testing.  In a combined proof-burst pressure test the test parameters may require a part to be pressurized and then dwell or hold a specific pressure for a desired interval of time and then continue to be pressurized until the component fails all in a single test.  The Maximator burst rig allows a component to be pressurized upward and dwell at more than one step with individual dwell times (up to 10 steps) before being pressurized until it bursts.

Maximator Test will provide a comprehensive test report

Report will include:

  • An outline of the testing objectives
  • The tools and equipment used to conduct the test
  • The test setup and procedure; including photographs of how the setup was completed (in most cases video recording of the test is also possible)
  • Results; including pressure plots (see sample below), data tables (or raw data), comments, and observations made while conducting the test
  • Failure photos showing failure locations
  • Calibration certificates

The following plot is an example of a step function test where the pressure was increased in increments and allowed to dwell for a period of time at each pressure level:


In the plot above the test specimen passed an 18 second dwell at three pressure levels before failing on its way to the next pressure level.

Maximator Test Burst Testing Service

Maximator Test conducts hydrostatic leak or burst testing at pressures up to 65,000 psi (4,500 bar) using water. We can also test up to 145,000 psi (10,000 bar) using oil and up to 14,500 psi (1000 bar) using nitrogen. Burst testing is conducted using a plc controlled, monitored, and computer regulated test bench; featuring data acquisition at 50 Hz, calibrated pressure transducer, and protective safety features.
At Maximator Test we work hard to develop person realtionships with our customers which helps us understand their goals and objectives. We do our level best to provide updates every step of the way to ensure you have the data you need in a timely fashion.

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