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R&D

Fike Laboratory scientists, combustion engineers and technicians continually strive to develop a thorough understanding of the sciences associated with explosion phenomena through a combination of research, theoretical analysis and empirical methods. Perhaps more importantly, we apply this research and testing to the performance of our own products.

Using this knowledge, Fike continually works toward the development of new products, advancements in our knowledge of existing products performance boundaries and providing conceptual approaches for future product development efforts. Fike’s focus on product research and development has made us a leader in the Explosion Protection market.

Pressure Relief Testing

ASME Flow Laboratory

The Fike Flow Laboratory is a general-purpose flow characterisation laboratory for quantifying the performance of bursting disc devices, bursting disc/relief valve combinations and any other device whose flow capacity and/or resistance to flow must be determined. The laboratory is used as a research and development tool to support specific customer applications and many other unique testing opportunities:

  • Product development flow resistance and capacity tests
  • ASME “UD” certification tests
  • ASME five-year production audits of certified bursting disc devices
  • Flow capacity measurements
  • Combination capacity tests of bursting discs coupled with pressure relief valves
  • “UV” (valve) certification tests

Fike engineers who are responsible for test supervision and record keeping are accredited as “Authorized Observers” (AO) by the ASME and the NB. These credentials have been achieved by technical examination performed by a representative from the NB Testing Laboratory. Fike laboratory engineers have also been granted authority to supervise and certify tests which produce certifiable flow resistance and flow capacity data.
The Flow Laboratory has met the requirements of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NB) and is a certified testing facility (certification # PRD-023).

Metallurgy Laboratory

The Fike Metallurgy Lab is vital to the design and engineering of Fike products, as it is used to increase the understanding of the behavior of materials used in manufacturing. Fike’s on-site location allows product investigations to be performed more quickly and efficiently by a staff with nearly 40 years of metallurgical and materials sciences expertise.
Among the tests available through the Fike Metallurgy Lab are:

  • Analysis of Bursting Discs, plate, bar, pipes, etc., for size and shape, cleanliness, surface condition (including base metal and coatings), modes of failure, microstructural condition and constituents, grain size and boundary conditions, chemical segregation, and microhardness
  • Microscopic measurement and analysis, image archiving and electronic reporting
  • Pressure vessel soundness and material properties after heat treatment
  • Bursting / Explosion Disc score depth and shape consistency
  • Heat treat furnace time; temperature and atmospheric effects on disc materials.
  • Corrosion effects on bursting discs and corrosive properties of disc materials.

Application / Industry Support

Fike’s testing services are available to certify custom products developed for specific customer applications…including those manufactured for aerospace/defence contracts, special gas handling applications and many other variants of standard product offerings. The Flow Lab can also provide flow test capabilities for other flow characterisation needs — such as combination assemblies and manifolds, and fire and explosion protection components. And since Fike has equipment ranging from 1/4-inch to 4-inches, we have the capability of testing a wider range of disc sizes than any of our competition.

Fike has used these unique testing capabilities/facilities to support the testing needs of specific industry organisations. In addition Fike’s experienced, accredited laboratory staff are regular participants on local and national industry boards and committees including ASM (American Society for Metals), ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), AICHE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), and ASNT (American Society for Nondestructive Testing).