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The story so far..

Our strategy for LBBC Baskerville is to reinvigorate the brand and align it with our Group vision by becoming the market leading supplier of small, high pressure, autoclave systems into niche global markets. Our early assessment of the market and discussions with the University of Leeds has identified a specific opportunity to develop an innovative high pressure autoclave incorporating continuous, real-time monitoring of the corrosion process being investigated within the vessel. This will be of great interest to the oil & gas industry for lab investigations of corrosion of materials exposed to high temperatures and pressures near the well-head and also to other sectors eg nuclear. Investigation of this market opportunity is needed to clarify the requirements and then develop a product range which meets this need. The key to the success of any corrosion testing programme is that the conditions must match those seen in the field. The autoclave is a convenient means by which corrosion scientists can simulate oil & gas environments and replicate corrosion conditions however there are numerous existing shortcomings e.g. the conditions in the autoclave vary because the fluid is not continually replenished and the conditions are difficult to measure/monitor under extreme conditions.

The Institute of Functional Surfaces (iFS) at the University of Leeds is leading the field in translating the needs of industry into sensible and realistic testing programmes and therefore LBBC Baskerville will link up with the university through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme. In this KTP, the expertise of the Institute of Functional Surfaces group in corrosion evaluation, instrumentation of corrosion tests, advanced microscopy and supporting analysis is combined with the extensive autoclave manufacturing and control expertise existing in LBBC.

As oil wells get deeper and oil is found in increasingly extreme conditions then the equipment and testing protocols need to advance too. This programme will bring new knowledge to the product range which will stretch boundaries and advance the forefront of laboratory autoclave technology. Further development of autoclave technology, e.g. inclusion of sensing capabilities and creation of a dynamic product, depends on understanding the drivers in the field. The University of Leeds is recognised as a world leader in the area of corrosion testing and steady state monitoring and by working with LBBC who are recognised as a world leader in the design of pressure vessels and autoclave control systems it is felt that joint development of these innovative products will significantly enhance both our reputations whilst offering a range of innovative autoclave designs to simulate the harshest environments whilst having the ability to monitor sample and brine chemistry changes in situ.

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