Engine Test Cells and Dynamometer Rooms

Typical Haz-safe two hour fire and 215 lbs.sq.ft. blast rated Test Cell with a blast shaft over (2) 8’ wide x 4’ high explosion relief wall panels stacked on top of each other. Same building from the other side showing the non-rated/non-combustible Control Module attached to each other with Haz-safe patented bolt up hardware.
Interior end of fire and blast rated Test Cell showing (2) 8’ wide x 4’ high non-fire rated explosion relief wall panels, but above the upper panel is a 3 hour fire rated drop down shutter. Same end of building with the shutter’s 3 hour fire rated curtain in the down position. Users test bed sets down below the grating on the sump floor Same building outfitted by the dyno manufacturer and being operated by the engine manufacturer Ceiling mounted yellow monorail helps get equipment in and out.
14' wide Engine Test Chamber with heavy duty roof top scaffolds containing axial fans, silencers, and direction hoods. One is for makeup, and the other is for exhaust to cool room during tests. 8' W x 40' L x 9' 8" H ISO freight container dimensions with corner fittings. Test cell room expanded with 4' W x 18' L addition bolted on (modular patent method). HVAC units on roof. 14' W x 34' L x 11' H (3) room hot engine test cell for quality audit is cooled with intake air fan driving air into room and an exhaust fan pulling air out. Fan hoods on roof contain noise silencers.
Very, Very carefully the Fork Lift is being guided by sight and hand to lower the 35,000 pound solid steel bed plate into the opening in the elevated floor supports down onto the previously installed air shocks. Worker on right is standing on ¾" thick lower bed plate of a Haz-safe Engine Test Cell Module with one foot on the end of a measuring tape helping to arrange the precise location for each of (8) air shocks being installed. The Bed plate installed in Haz-safe Module's floor raises the module to a total weight of 75,000 pounds for the crane to lift and set the module so it can be bolted to the main Haz-safe modular facility...

Combining Hazmat and Engine Test Cell Requirements:

It is relatively easy to design a building to meet the necessary technical disciplines for being blast rated, or to make a building fire rated or for sound/noise control (blocking, absorbing, reducing, isolating, etc.). By themselves, all of these disciplines have to be carefully thought out. But, combine all these disciplines into one and the same structure, and it becomes harder. Haz-Safe Buildings easily accomplishes this without compromising the safety of the workers using the building. Look at this another way. It is relatively easy to make building as a hazmat or an engine test cell or dynamometer room. But the real trick is to combine the disciplines. Now, add into this mix a requirement for any or all of the above to be pre-manufactured and to be in multiple modules to be shipped in separate shrink-wrapped units and reassembled outside or inplant at the user's site anywhere in the world. Haz-Safe Buildings does all that and more, utilizing high quality materials and the latest components. For example, look below at how Haz-Safe Buildings bring these design disciplines together in just the construction of the walls that are blast, fire and, emphasizing below, sound rated.

Sound Rated Buildings with Resilient Channels

1/4 thick tubular steel frame clad with 10 gauge steel plate on roof, walls and sump floor makes for a stronger and heavier building versus panel-to-panel or stud wall type buildings. Results are no shake, rattle or roll, whereas a lighter building (less mass) will pass more sound than the more dense Haz-Safe Buildings. Spaces between vertical tubes are filled with 2" thick Thermafiber Sound Attenuation Blankets (SAFB). 7/8" deep horizontal resilient furring channels are attached across the vertical tubes. 3/4" thick gypsum panels are fastened on furring channels, which, not being directly attached to the vertical tube, creates a sound break. Gasoline engine dynamometer test cell with STC 60 sound rated walls. Windows and doors have STC 40 ratings with low level ventilation ducts and cooling air intake and exhaust stacks equipped with sound absorption capabilities.

Haz-Safe Buildings' proven approach to custom engineered pre-manufactured rooms, enclosures and buildings provides superior acoustic and vibration controlled performance as well as practical operation aesthetic considerations. Basic sound control requires the following elements, some or all of which Haz-Safe can provide:

a. Walls and ceiling designed to contain sound within the building, including decoupling of interior elements to reduce exterior surface radiated noise via Haz-Safe resilient channel construction techniques.

b. Vibration isolation to prevent structural noise transmission.

c. Ventilation with noise reduction silencers.

d. Sound control doors and windows with utmost wall acoustic capabilities.

e. Penetrations which do not constitute acoustical leaks.

f. Inside sound absorption to assure reduced build-up of reverberant sound within room(s) and support equipment spaces through perforated metal panels with acoustically absorptive fiber fill.

g. Roof parapet wall designed to be on three more sensitive sides and be slightly higher then the loudest noise sources (ventilation, pipe and exhaust terminations, A/C units, etc.). The open, less sensitive, side of the roof provides a fume dilation draft. Below are the Haz-Safe Buildings' details on just wall construction for a) reducing sound transmission through the structure, and b) inside sound absorption:

Above art is from page 6 (RAL-TL-83-215) of Thermafiber, Inc. product literature #TF88/1-03. This shows the importance of horizontal steel resilient furring channels, on the inside portion of the common steel studs, used to prevent direct contact between the surface of the stud and a single layer of 1/2" thick gypsum wall board. On the opposite side of the wall are two layers of 1/2" gypsum attached directly to the steel stud. From a fire safe view, this unbalanced bi-directional wall has a 1-1/2 hour rating. This shows how the furring channels added an extra 1/2 hour to the normally 1 hour rated single layer of 1/2" gypsum. From the sound rating view, the above wall is rated at 58 STC, as compared to Thermafiber art on page 6 (GA WP-1070), showing common 1/2" layer of gypsum attached directly to both sides of steel studs, producing an STC 45-49. This means the furring channel example picks up to an extra 9 STC.
Unique construction designed to increased effectiveness of sound insulating values in Haz-Safe's walls by utilizing the above first example (A) Thermafiber Art by attaching steel horizontal furring channels across the vertical steel tubular members as shown above. (B) Competitive wall assemblies metal connections between wall panel-to-panel or direct-to-stud connections allow sound to resonate through the connecting members of the wall assembly. But, to reduce sound penetrating the wall, Haz-Safe's horizontal furring channels suspend the gypsum wall board (or heat) to travel. 2" thick Thermafiber sound insulation fire blankets (SAFB) are sandwiched between the exterior steel skin and the 7/8" furring strips. Thermafiber tests demonstrated that Thermafiber SAFB's provide STC ratings of up to 4 STC's higher than glass fiber batt installations, even when the batts were 1/2" to 1" thicker! This Haz-Safe wall with 3/4" Ultracode Core gypsum provides an STC rating up to 55 STC's.
The above art has been copied from page 8 (TL-77-149)of the Thermafiber literature #TF88/1-03. This shows the staggering of the wall studs, thus eliminating any direct connection for sound (or heat) to resonate through the connecting members of the wall assembly. This wall has an STC rate of 54 while using 5/8" thick gypsum board on both sides of the staggered vertical wood studs. On the same Thermafiber literature page is Art #BBN-700725 using the same materials without the wood studs being staggered. The resulting STC was 46, which means the staggered design has an STC advantage of 8.
Exclusive contruction designed to super increase effectiveness of sound insulation values in Haz-Safe walls by utilizing techno-advantages of both (A) "horizontal resilient furring channels", as described in the first and second examples above, and (B) the "staggered stud" in the third example above. Each of the two methods of isolating direct metal connection between the inner and outer portions of the wall has produced up to 8 STC above normal construction. Combining both "horizontal furring channels" and "staggering the studs" in the same wall construction should produce very dramatic results up to a total of 16 STC's. In this example, the vertical steel tubular members have been staggered or offset by 2" so that every other tube is either "out" against the building's 10 gauge plate exterior skin or "in" with 7/8" deep steel horizontal furring channels attached. There are also two layers of 2" thick, or a total of 4" Thermafiber sound attenuation blankets within same, and a 3/4" thick Ultracode Core gypsum board covered with 22 gauge steel plate on the inside of the wall. The total STC could be up to as high as 65.
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
Haz-Mat buildings provide a safe environment for the potentially dangerous
practice of testing engines and equipment.
By Marion Petty
Reprinted from Environmental Protection, March 1996
A gasoline piston engine waits for a crane hoist to drop in dynamometer test equipment.

Anything could happen – a fire, an explosion, an equipment malfunction. The dangers to personnel and property are high. No one knows this better than Klaus Meyer, product manager of Schenck Pegasus Corp., an engine testing company in Troy, Mich.

   "Bear in mind, assemblies are tested to see if and under what circumstances they fail and how long they will last.

  Imagine the damage done if a flywheel breaks loose from its shaft while rotating at high speed. And when testing fuel-related components, there is always a danger of fire and explosion."

  Schenck Pegasus – whose customers include the Big Three automobile manufacturers – needed a safe testing environment. Haz-Safe Buildings by Design in Sarver, Pa., had the solution. "It was not economical to add a hazardous testing area inside our existing building," said Meyer. "Local building codes and insurance were a problem. The hazardous testing area would have to be completely sealed off with explosion panels in exterior walls. We found out that it was actually less expensive to install a good quality prefabricated building than to construct a building of the required utility using brick and mortar. We were just better off with a separate testing area."

  Protecting the environment was a major concern in the decision to purchase a Haz-Mat building, Meyer said. "Considering the potential cost of a fuel spill cleanup, we certainly wanted to make sure our test cell was built to prevent the spill of hazardous liquids."

Fuel lines enter in from the ceiling/roof as well as fresh air through fire damper controlled vent opening. Interior finish in porcelain enameled steel over fire rated gypsum trimmed with aluminum bar.
First Haz-Safe building (background) and the latest (foreground) are attached to main facility. The roof top scaffolds support air hoods, silencers, and exhaust and intake fan systems.

  Although considered to be a small quantity hazardous-waste generator, Schenck Pegasus wanted to be sure that any hazardous waste produced was contained properly. If a spill occurs, it flows through an elevated floor plate down a sloped sump, activates a detector and triggers an alarm.

  Haz-Safe Buildings by Design prefabricates systems of liftable steel modules for mixing, dispensing, storing and enclosing manufacturing areas using hazardous materials.

  With a tough tubular skeleton covered in 10-gauge plate steel, they can be custom designed and made to "plug" into existing utility connections. They are safe and durable - exactly what Klaus Meyer was looking for.

  "We test engines for a variety of reasons," Meyer said. "One application might require durability testing of drive train components. Another might require emissions compliance testing. There are instances where engines are used just to produce the hot exhaust gases needed to test catalytic converters."

  The air emissions generated by engine testing - hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and carbon dioxide - are handled by a complex ventilation system. Since engines running at full power generate a tremendous amount of heat, large fans are installed to carry the heat away.

  The buildings can also withstand intense temperatures and blasts. Should an explosion occur, the pressure in the building is safely released by lightweight explosion panels that open outward under pressure. In case of fire, a built-in sprinkler system activates, an alarm sounds and fire dampers in the fan ducts close. The building itself is fire-rated for two hours, and a fire can be contained inside the Haz-Mat building without spreading to the rest of the plant.

  Meyer had found his solution. Schenck Pegasus purchased its first Haz-Mat building four years ago and has added another one since.

  The first building was designed with an additional room for a control area or operator station. The second building was specifically designed and modified as a dynamometer test cell and required a different floor arrangement, coolant pipes, fuel lines and a crane.

  "We looked at the design and the quality of execution of the building, and we knew we were getting an excellent value," Meyer said. Haz-Safe buildings exceed all federal, state and local regulations. Marion Petty is associate editor with Environmental Protection magazine.