The Steam Permeameter Cell is a laboratory-scale pressure vessel used to perform high pressure, high temperature testing on well cement slurries. Initial sizing of the concentric, two chamber vessel was based on design by rule concepts in the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII Division 1. However, based on the complex transient loading expected during the specified testing protocol, additional engineering design and analysis was performed to understand the effects of thermal gradients on the overall strength and fatigue performance of the vessel. The objective of the engineering assessment was to show compliance with design margins in the Code when non-listed materials are utilized in the construction.
Using detailed analytical modeling of transient, thermo-mechanical loading, the assessment demonstrated that the test vessel was safe to operate based on engineering judgement and established best practices in vessel design by analysis. Furthermore, several design modifications were identified to improve functionality and overall performance of the vessel. The Steam Permeameter Cell design had sufficient static capacity to contain the maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) of 3,500 psig at a design temperature of 700°F, and fatigue capacity to withstand the intended test protocol over the service life.