Element Materials Technology, the USA’s largest independent materials testing and product qualification testing provider, has opened a new flagship Oil and Gas Materials Technology Center in Houston, TX.
Officially launched by President and CEO of Element, Charles Noall, the event was attended by many key clients including Baker Hughes, BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Serimax, Technip and others. A keynote speech was given by Skip Herald, Vallourec’s North American Managing Director. The first-of-its-kind ‘Oil and Gas Materials Technology Center’ offers clients unparalleled capabilities including fracture mechanics and engineering critical assessment, NDT and corrosion testing, across a broad range of metal alloys, thermoplastics, composites and elastomers.
Representing the company’s largest ever single site investment in capabilities the laboratory, known as Element Houston, represents a total investment in excess of $5 million.
Opening the laboratory, Charles Noall said: “The launch of Element Houston is a pivotal milestone in Element’s growth strategy to collectively expand services to the Oil and Gas majors and their supply chain partners. Staffed by some of the very best testing experts the industry has to offer, Element Houston builds on other recent significant relocations, acquisitions and expansions at the organization’s locations around the world and incorporates knowledge gleaned from our global platform of 16 facilities and over 500 experts dedicated specifically to the Oil and Gas sector, leading to the completion of a pioneering location capable of providing a truly unique suite of services across a range of material types.
Element’s EVP for Oil and Gas, Dr. Rod Martin, added: “Oil and Gas is a key focus for Element and the creation of this world-class laboratory reflects an ongoing trend of our customer-led strategy that informs our sustained, focused investment in capacity and capabilities and credibility to fulfill the current and future needs of this technically driven sector.”
Located on a 5.3 acre campus adjacent to the Houston energy corridor, the site’s state-of-the-art testing facilities, proprietary technology and an innovative design offer clients significantly extended capabilities, reduced testing lead times and increased operational efficiency. This includes an expansion of its metallurgical testing capabilities with new machine shop capability to support its routine, fracture mechanics and ECA testing. A new polymers facility has been developed in collaboration with the State of Texas Governor’s Office and the Emerging Technology Fund also promoting close collaboration with Texas A&M University. In addition, there is expansion of other core business areas including NDT, Air Emissions, Consultancy and Failure Analysis.
Encompassing a main facility of 40,000 sq. ft housing all core testing capabilities plus a vastly expanded 15,000 sq. ft facility for onsite NDT, the Materials Technology Center delivers a 50 percent increase in testing capacity over Element’s previous laboratory based in the city. The laboratory is staffed by 95 personnel and new key equipment includes wire EDM, water jet, four new servo-hydraulic machines for fracture mechanics and a High Pressure High Temperature laboratory for sweet and sour exposures to metal and polymeric materials.
About Element: Element is a global network of laboratories with experts specializing in materials testing, product qualification testing and failure analysis for the Aerospace, Oil and Gas and the Transportation and Industrial sectors. Their team of 1,540 scientists, engineers and technicians work in 44 facilities located throughout the U.S. and Europe.