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published on

October 2019

At BakerRisk, our mission is to help our clients manage catastrophic risks through high value services, products, and research.  BakerRisk research and development and testing services support this mission by coupling our test facilities with an experienced team of engineers who have spent time in the field analyzing high hazard scenarios and helping to determine the cause and origin of industrial incidents.  Our efforts to better understand and categorize structural response, toxic gas detection, blast loads, fire and combustible dust hazards, vessel failures, and fragment hazards come from years of combined experience spent picking up the pieces after things have gone wrong. Protecting people from industrial hazards becomes a personal mission for our professionals. Work with our team and prevent hazardous conditions from turning into devastating reality.

Water column hazard from a submerged high pressure fitting failure

BakerRisk has invested heavily in three different test facilities.  In the lab at our corporate headquarters in San Antonio, we have the ability to analyze metallurgical samples, perform small-scale combustion experiments, and perform scanning electron microspcopy.  The 160-acre Wilfred E. Baker Test Facility (WEBTF) outside of La Vernia is our primary facility for testing the structural response of wall, window and door systems to blast and fragment loads.  The WEBTF is also the home of our jet / pool fire and dispersion rig as well as the very first BakerRisk FORTRESS structure.  Our jet / pool fire and dispersion rig can be utilized to study the thermal properties of different building construction types, analyze the performance of passive and active fire protective systems, reliability of detector systems, and examine material rainout under different operating conditions.

Jet fire impingement test

The Box Canyon Test Facility (BCTF) is a 2,300-acre former cattle ranch that has been converted into a world-class test facility where BakerRisk performs high-explosive hazard testing that requires large stand-off distances.  BCTF is the home of the BakerRisk vapor cloud explosion (VCE) rig and the deflagration load generator (DLG).  The DLG was originally built in 2010 with the express purpose of testing full-scale structural systems against VCE effects, and has helped BakerRisk and our clients better understand structural response to blast loads as well as hazards created by non-structural debris. Through a teaming agreement with Intertek, BakerRisk also offers high explosive testing capabilities at the BCTF.

Before and After images of a conex exposed to a 2 psi free-field blast load

BakerRisk has run many unique test programs including small and large thermal decompositions experiments, cryogenic spill investigations, and tests involving toxic gases such as ammonia and ethylene oxide.  As part of our test program service, BakerRisk evaluates the hazards associated with specialized R&D testing efforts, develops a set of written standard operating procedures prior to testing, and sites the test apparatus at the most appropriate test facility.  From the first phone call to the proper decontamination and disposal of any residual waste, BakerRisk’s test engineers are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their objectives in a safe and controlled environment.

To learn more about the benefits and applications our R&D and testing services, see our Research and Development and Testing services web pages.  You may also download a copy of our most recent technical paper on inherently safer plant designs topic by submitting your information request.