OCTG Testing

OCTG Full Scale Testing Facility


The OCTG (Oil Country Tubular Goods) Full Scale Testing Centre at ITE tests tubulars and devices in full scale under combined service loads and extreme conditions. The state-of-the-art research and third-party testing facility consists of a High Pressure Autoclave, a Medium Pressure Autoclave, High and Medium Capacity Combined Load Frames, a Coiled- Tubing and Fatigue Combined Load Testing Frame and an OCTG Make-up and Break-out Centre. Each of the facilities has its own unique characteristics. 

The testing center, since its establishment along with ITE in 1983, aims to continuously address technical advancements and related issues in oil and gas drilling and production sector. It is the only test center of its kind as a part of a university.  

OCTG Make-Up and Break-Out Centre 

At the ITE Make-Up & Break-Out Center, OCTG connections and thread compounds for up to 18⅝” pipe diameter can be subjected to extreme torsional conditions (max. 80 kNm) through computer-controlled, high torque power tongs to determine the make-up and break-out behavior. The facility combines precision with high torque capabilities in one. 

Layout of the center control and acquisition system 

By means of an automatic switch, the make-up process is terminated after attainment of the specified torque value or angular rotation. The measured make-up torque values can be observed in real time on a monitor. The data for make-up and break-out are stored in a convenient format on a physical disk. 

Before every new project, and at least twice in a year, the power tongs are calibrated. As reported in literature and standards, the rigidity of the power tongs seems to influence the quality of the results. 

RP II - High Pressure Autoclave 

This fully automated high pressure autoclave unit is designed for testing OCTG pipes against extreme service conditions. For a specimen diameter up to 7” and lengths up to 1880 mm, a max. pressure of 350 MPa (50,750 psi) can be applied to the pipes. A max. of 2000 kN tension is also applicable. The auxiliary equipment consists of a computer controlled panel and a digital Data Acquisition System. 

The test facility allows the simultaneous superposition of: 

  • external pressure 
  • internal pressure 
  • tensile forces 

Overview of RP II: Operating and data gathering system

RP III - Medium Pressure Autoclave 

This fully automated medium pressure autoclave is designed for testing OCTG specimen of over 7” diameter under extreme service conditions. Diameters up to 18⅝” and lengths of 5000 mm can be tested against an internal / external pressure of up to 150 MPa (21,750 psi). A 8000 kN tension / compression is applicable. In addition, a bending force of up to 8000 kN can also be simultaneously applied.  

The auxiliary equipment consists of a computer controlled panel and a digital Data Acquisition System with high quality acquisition devices.


Overview of RP III: Operating and data gathering system

The test facility allows the simultaneous superposition of: 

  • external pressure
  • internal pressure
  • tension and compression
  • bending forces

RP IV - OCTG Connection Test Center

This unit has been designed to test gas tightness of OCTG connections under combined loading. Tubulars up to 7" diameter can be mounted using adapters and tested in the rigid frame. In addition, both ends are fixed by solid bolts to allow bending of the pipe. The lower end can be activated by a hydraulic piston with a force equal to 2800 kN. If testing is to be done under high temperature (up to 250 °C), special equipment can be mounted on the frame. The unit allows gas pressure up to 150 MPa (21,750 psi) and the frame is mounted in a special room under the floor level for safety reasons. The control panel is fully automated. 

RP IV: Facility outlook and operation interface 

RP V - OCTG Connection Test Center 

The RP V connection testing frame is the bigger test facility designed for testing the gas tightness of tubular connections under extreme conditions. The facility is also able to perform tensile tests to failure with the following additional loads: Internal pressure (up to 350 MPa), bending (up to 500 kNm), torque (up to 70 kNm) and temperature (max. 300 °C). Specimens up to 18⅝" diameter can be tested in the frame. The maximum applicable tensile force is 20 MN. This force, however, should be reduced to 10 MN for tensile tests with applied bending. The facility is computer controlled and is fully automated. 

RP V : Testing frame and control unit 

RP VI - Facility for Fatigue Testing Under Dynamic Load 

RP VI is a simulating facility to determine the fatigue strength of the drill string connection under four simultaneous load types. It consists of a frame, an eccentre with electric motor and two bearing units to apply bending, a hydraulic aggregate to build up internal pressure, and a hydraulic system to operate two axial and torsional cylinders successively. Tubular goods up to 5½" OD can be tested against axial loads up to 400 kN, an internal pressure up to 700 bar and torsion of up to 28 kNm. Two bearing units in the eccentre can apply a bending force of 50 kN each. The appearing deformation is determined by strain gauges and sensors. Measurements are displayed, recorded and evaluated on a personal computer by a specially optimized software (LabView). 

RP VI: Coiled tubing fatigue test facility layout with software interface 

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The university town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld is located in the administrative district of Goslar in the State of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), in the southwestern part of the Harz Mountains. Clausthal-Zellerfeld is the largest town in the area that is situated directly in the mountains rather than on their edge. 

Clausthal University of Technology 

Institute of Petroleum Engineering 

Agricolastrasse 10 

38678, Clausthal-Zellerfeld 


Prof. Dr. -Ing. Joachim Oppelt 

Tel.: +49-5323-72-2450 

Fax: +49-5323-72-3146 

Email: joachim.oppelt@tu-clausthal.de  


Dr. -Ing. Javier Holzmann 

Tel.: +49-5323-72-2452 

Fax: +49-5323-72-3146 

Email: javier.holzmann@tu-clausthal.de  



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