At Barbour Stockwell, we specialize in designing, engineering, and manufacturing custom test rigs—also sometimes referred to as test bays, test benches, testing facilities, or testing stations— for clients in a wide array of industries and applications throughout the world. Barbour Stockwell, Inc’s spin test equipment and other test benches are expressly designed to perform the tests necessary to confirm design calculations and material integrity.

Our Spin Rigs are capable of performing the spin tests generally performed throughout the life cycle of a product.

  • R&D Testing: Performed to evaluate new materials or component designs as well as to confirm design calculations.
  • Qualification Testing: Performed to demonstrate that a new design is fit for purpose; often to satisfy regulatory bodies such as the FAA.
  • Acceptance Testing: Performed to assure quality during production.

It is worth noting that acceptance testing, in addition to providing quality assurance, is often part of the production process. Prior to final machining, turbomachinery rotors are frequently driven beyond the speed at which the bore will begin to yield. This “pre-spinning” operation improves the stability of the part for final machining and the consequential residual stresses serve to extend the life of the finished product.

BSi’s spin test facilities are custom designed and built to meet our customers’ specific requirements. The vast portfolio of designs the company has performed over the years provides the foundation for economically and reliably addressing the test requirements, whatever they may be. Facilities have been provided for performing tests at temperatures from 80 Kelvin to over 800°C. Spin chambers with the capacity for testing 2800 mm diameter rotors have been supplied with drives to accommodate up to 12 tons. Drive systems have been delivered for testing rotors to over 200,000 rpm.

Rigs have been designed and built by BSi for testing critical components such as:

  • Gas Turbine Rotors
  • Compressor Impellers
  • Abradable seals
  • Bearings
  • Seals
  • Telemetry Units and Slip Rings

Types of Spin Tests

BSi’s spin test facilities are custom designed and built to meet our customers’ specific requirements. The vast portfolio of designs the company has performed over the years provides the foundation for economically and reliably addressing the test requirements, whatever they may be.

The design and construction of spin test rigs will vary depending on the customer’s specific requirements. Rather than offer a “catalog” model, BSi engineers draw on a vast portfolio to tailor a spin facility to precisely match these requirements. Facilities have been provided for performing tests at temperatures from 80 Kelvin to 800°C. Spin chambers with the capacity for testing 2800 mm diameter rotors have been supplied with drives to accommodate up to 12 tons.

Moreover, our spin pits can generally be adapted to perform a variety of different spin tests. Types of spin tests include:

Overspeed Testing

Overspeed testing drives a rotor to a speed that exceeds the speed it will be subjected to in service; most often for quality assurance. In addition to providing quality assurance, overspeed testing is often part of the production process. Prior to final machining, turbomachinery rotors are frequently driven beyond the speed at which the bore will begin to yield. This “pre-spinning” operation improves the stability of the part for final machining and the consequential residual stresses serve to extend the life of the finished product.

This type of test is most often used by industrial manufacturers of:

  • Process compressors (petrochemical industry)
  • Gas turbines (power generation and industrial applications)
  • Jet engines (aerospace industry)
  • Expanders and compressor impellers employed in environmental control systems (aerospace industry)
  • Wound electrical rotors (aerospace industry)
  • Armatures, commutators, fans, turbochargers and transmission components (automotive industry)

They are also used for turbomachinery rotor repair shops for the oil & gas industry.

Burst Testing

Burst testing drives a rotor to a specific speed so that it reaches the point of failure to assure an adequate margin between burst (the critical failure point) and service speeds. Burst testing is often used for acceptance testing of samples from each production lot as a quality assurance process, qualifying a new rotor design, assessing new materials, and calibrating analytical prediction methods.

This type of testing is commonly used by:

  • Abrasive wheel manufacturers
  • Government and university laboratories
  • Jet engine manufacturers

Low Cycle Fatigue Testing

Low-cycle fatigue testing entails cycling a test rotor between two or more speeds many thousands of times to assess the fatigue life. This is frequently performed at elevated temperatures either isothermal, or with gradients. This type of test is used for qualifying new rotor designs, assessing new materials, and calibrating analytical prediction methods.

Low-cycle fatigue testing is often used by:

  • Jet engine manufacturers
  • Automotive industry to qualify motor/generator rotors
  • Government and university laboratories

High Cycle Fatigue Testing

High cycle fatigue testing involves excitation of the blades on a turbomachinery rotor while it is rotating. This is done to identify and study blade resonance while the rotor is subjected to the effects of centrifugal forces

This type of test is used by:

  • Jet Engine Manufacturers
  • Government Laboratories
  • Manufacturers of Turbomachinery for Power Generation and Industrial Applications

Liquid Jet Impingement Testing

Liquid jet impingement testing entails introducing water drops in the path of facsimile rotor blades traveling at a high linear velocity. This is done to assess the effectiveness of coatings to protect against erosion.

These tests are critical for:

  • Manufacturers of coatings
  • Jet engine manufacturers
  • Government laboratories
  • Manufacturers of turbomachinery for power generation and industrial applications

For Further Information

Spin Pits

Barbour Stockwell is also committed to providing high-quality spin pit testing services and products built specifically to meet our client’s specifications & requirements. In the past, we have supplied customers with spin pits capable of testing rotors nearly 3 m in diameter weighing up to 12 tons. Spin test drives to furnish 500 kW at 30,000 rpm have been delivered. At the other end of the spectrum, we provide spin test drives to reliably generate 200,000 rpm test after test.

Our highlighted spin pit projects include:

Drive Systems

Barbour Stockwell has decades of experience creating precisely speed-controlled drive systems with ultra-high rotational speeds, including electric and air turbine drives.

Learn more about our Drive Systems

Other Rigs

While we’re well-known for our expertise in creating spin test facilities, we also design and build all kinds of rigs for testing the various components of high speed machinery.

Learn more about Other Rigs

Applications of Test Rigs

Test rigs are valuable tools to use when manufacturing a new part or product or establishing a new process. By using these testing instruments, our clients can attain valuable analytical data about the component or concept that facilitates research and development operations. Reasons for creating a custom rig include:

  • Attaining an understanding of a new idea, product, or process and how to move forward in its development
  • Providing a working proof of concept to stakeholders and investors
  • Analyzing product performance in a controlled environment
  • Facilitating earlier integration with other system components and testing for functionality
  • Verifying the viability of the new product with early user feedback

Some of the industries that regularly use test rigs for the above purposes include abrasives, aerospace, automotive, energy, and oil and gas.

Contact Barbour Stockwell for your Custom Spin Test Rigs

At Barbour Stockwell, Inc., we have extensive experience designing and constructing custom test rigs for high-speed machinery components in the aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas industries. We also provide testing services at our facility in Woburn, MA. To learn more about our testing products and services, contact us or request a quote today.