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Low Temperature Operations

The Industry Challenge:

Operations in the Arctic and cold weather regions are challenging due to embrittlement of components, and generation of significant thermal stress loads, which can lead to structural cracking and failures under otherwise normal loading conditions.

Temperature variations also change the elasticity and dimensions of sealing components leading to reduce performance and leaks.   For example bladder accumulators stiffen at cold temperatures, limiting their performance in safety systems such as blow out preventers and transient pressure suppression systems on pipelines.

Rapid changes in equipment temperatures can cause differential expansion of components leading to thermal strains and stresses that may cause leakage or failure of components.

How We Help:

C-FER develops unique testing systems to evaluate the performance of equipment, structures, and processes under cold-weather operating conditions.

Specimens can be chilled by a variety of methods such as immersion in chilled fluids, circulation of chilled fluid under pressure or controlled exposure to liquid nitrogen.

Thermal shock loading can also be achieved by combining these chilling methods with resistive or inductive electric heating systems to minimize cycling times.

Cold Testing Chamber:

In addition to the above methods, C-FER's Cold Testing Chamber is also available for low-temperture testing.

The chamber features:

  • Remote monitoring and control centre for continuous testing
  • Removable roof with 15-ton overhead crane access
  • 15-ton floor capacity (as a distributed load.)


System Variables Operational Specifications
Test Temperature Range* Down to -35°C (-31°F)
Interior Chamber Dimensions: 19’ 5.5” (5.93 m) long, 9’ 10.5” (3 m) wide and 10’ 2” (3.09 m) high
Chamber Cooling Capacity -35°C
Refrigeration Skid Cooling Capacity -45°C: 58,800 btu/hr (17.23 kW or 4.9 TR)
Cooling Working Fluid Freeze Point -48°C


Interior of C-FER's Cold Testing Chamber
Simulation of specimen inside interior chamber
Air Heat Exchanger
Cooling Medium Vacuum Tank

Berg Refrigeration Skid
C-FER's Glycol Refrigeration Skid
Closeup of Berg Refigeration Skid
Closeup of Berg Refrigeration Skid


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A wholly owned subsidiary of Alberta Innovates