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Meter Engineers Inc. 7718 W 53rd St N Maize, KS 67101 United States INTRODUCTION A field standard test measure is a graduated neck volumetric container, fabricated to stringent design criteria to deliver a specific volume of liquid when drained. To identify its true volume value, it is calibrated by an official agency such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The primary purpose of a field standard test measure is to provide a standardized volume, used for the calibration of displacement and tank provers, when calibrated by the waterdraw method. Field standard test measures are commonly referred to as test measures-for simplicity the term test measure or measures will be used in this paper for field standard test measures. Test measures can be either of the invertible or non-invertible (stationary bottom-drain type). Invertible measures are usually small measures of less than 10 gallons, while the non-invertible measures are mounted on legs and are typically greater than 10 gallons. They can also be classified by their graduated neck resolution. Test measures of the same volume can have either a normal or high sensitivity neck. Normal sensitivity measures have a larger neck diameter and therefore have less resolution on the scale. High sensitivity measures have a smaller diameter neck and have much greater resolution. Since the neck length gets much longer when its diameter is reduced, as the volume gets larger it becomes increasingly impractical to have a highly sensitive neck. Generally, measures of less than 100 gallons can have high sensitivity necks and not be too excessively tall. DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION Test measures are manufactured to the specifications and tolerances outlined in NIST Handbook 105-3. Test measures with bottom drains (non-invertible) have a cylindrical body, a conical top, a cylindrical neck, a conical bottom and a drain valve. They are designed in this manner to ensure a complete drain. There is a small diameter gauge glass and scale mounted to the side of the neck, which enables the operator to read the volume by the meniscus level in the glass. The nominal volume of the standard is determined from the drain valve at the bottom to the zero mark on the scale in the neck.
NON-INVERTIBLE TEST MEASURE Reinforcement Bands When full. the opening at the top shall be reinforced by a rolled bead or a welded band. Neck To prevent distortion or damage to the neck. The top surface of the reinforcement must be perpendicular to the vertical axis of the standard so that the level of the standard can be determined by laying a machinst’s precision spirit level across it. During fabrication. the pressure from the liquid should not distort the standard or change its volume in any way. while standards ≥ 10 gallons have a top cone of 25 degrees and a bottom cone of 20 degrees. usually mounted on the top cone. These angles provide for appropriate 537 . They are drained by picking them up by their bale handle and inverting them to within 15 degrees of vertical. 90 degrees apart for determining whether the unit is level. any interior welded seams must be filled and ground smooth. Reinforcement bands are used at the transition from the body to the top cone and from the body to the bottom cone to prevent this from happening. There can be no dents. Their bottom band is perpendicular to the vertical axis of the measure and when placed on a level surface. Cones Standards ≤ 10 gallons have a top cone of 35 degrees and a bottom cone of 20 degrees. liquid or foreign material. Bottom drain standards have 2 spirit levels. crevices or pockets that may entrap air. Large units will sometimes incorporate a band around the middle of the body for additional support. A horizontal cross section taken at any point on the standard must be circular. Materials and Fabrication The test measure is designed in such a way that it can be filled and completely drained without any obstructions or chances for air entrapment. should be level. All parts of the main body of a test measure must be made of corrosion resistant series 300 stainless steel.INVERTIBLE TEST MEASURE Invertible test measures do not have a bottom drain.
drain characteristics. The gauge glass should be made of borsilicate type glass. Scale Plate and Graduations The scale plate is made of corrosion resistant metal. Any replacement glass must conform to the original inside and outside diameter specified by the manufacturer. open-ended for visual inspection. Seals shall be affixed with corrosion-resistant stainless steel wire and provide positive integrity that the drain valve has not been replaced. In the bottom cone. Some test measures are equipped with drain valves that are threaded on to the drain line. The scale graduations should not be less than 1/16” apart or the lines will be too close together to get a good reading of the meniscus. If the seal is broken or missing the test measure must be recalibrated. The volume is altered if this valve is turned to a different number of threads. modified. a metal-to-metal flange arrangement between the drain line and the drain valve is the preferred method of drain valve connection. This drain line should be sloped downward at a minimum of 5 degrees from horizontal in order to provide an adequate drain. replaced. This plate minimizes the circular liquid motion. an anti-vortex baffle plate is welded in place. The drain valve is a very important component of the calibrated volume. Drain Lines A gravity discharge line between the bottom of the bottom cone and the shut-off valve is considered the drain line. Minimum drain sizes are described in NIST Handbook 105-3 Tables 1a and 1b. full opening valve is the type that should be used. This valve must be leak-free at all times. All test measures should be equipped with a minimum of two 538 . while emptying the test measure with the drain valve fully open and adhering to the prescribed draining time. or repaired in any way that effects the integrity of the volume determined at the last calibration. Test measure drain valves shall be sealed to indicate whether the valve has been changed. on the scale. The level must be determined in two directions 90 degrees apart and can be used to verify the permanently mounted spirit levels. Many test measures have drain valves that are simply screwed into the drain line. This drain valve shall be a quick-acting full-port valve. If a drain line extends from the bottom center of a field standard test measure. the downward slope of the line must provide complete and proper drainage. which creates a vortex while draining. Gauge Glass Test measures are equipped with a gauge glass and scale assembly mounted on the side of the neck. The glass must be removable and replaceable without breaking the seal on the scale and voiding the calibration. just above the center drains. Certain flanged type valves by design allow replacement of internal o-rings without effecting the calibrated volume of the test measure. between the upper and lower gauge glass blocks. The scale is wire sealed in place upon calibration. NIST verifies the can levels by placing a precision machinist’s spirit level on the side of the neck instead of the top. The seal must be installed in such a way the scale cannot be moved by the adjusting rod unless the seal is removed. It is mounted tangentially to the front of the gauge glass. If removed and replaced the amount of turns on the threads could differ from its original position. The importance of this valve to the calibrated volume cannot be overemphasized and properly sealing screwed drain valves should be an absolute priority for volumetric test measures. which if replaced requires the recalibration of the test measure. indicates the nominal volume of the test measure. which is at the approximate center of the neck height. no more than 1/4” from the glass. The scales are mounted to yokes that are secured to adjusting rods that run parallel to the gauge glass. A quick acting. which changes the volume. The zero mark. a wire seal should be attached from the drain line to the valve. This drain line shall be sized to provide the maximum drainage rate possible consistent with a smooth and controlled drainage. either more or less. usually stainless steel or aluminum. or shall have a visual-inspection device immediately downstream of the valve to detect valve failure. Levels and Leveling The level of a test measure can be determined by placing a precision machinist’s spirit level across the top of the neck of the test measure. In order to indicate whether the valve has been either removed or replaced. Alternatively. All drain valves must have the capability of being sealed prior to calibration of the test measure. The leak proof seal at the bottom of the gauge glass is performed by the compression of o-rings in the bottom bracket as opposed to using cement.
The test measure is now ready for use in the “to deliver” mode. The gravimetric weighing method procedure is: • • • • • • • Establish empty weight Fill test measure Weigh full measure to establish “to contain” volume Observe temperature and scale reading and record Drain for described amount of time Weigh test measure in its wetted mode Fill. with the graduated scale. tangent to the bottom of the gauge meniscus. A separate calibration run is conducted on the top neck of the test measure to establish volume increments of the scale.g. gallons at 60 degree F. “To deliver” means that the measure will be allowed to drain for a specified time after cessation of the main flow of water. The adjusting screws on these levels must be equipped with a means for wire sealing and the level must have a protective cover. petroleum products and water. the NIST number. all test measures were calibrated by the volumetric transfer method. transported and stored with care to prevent jeopardizing the integrity of their calibrations. Care and Protection of Test Measures Test measures are precision liquid measurement instruments vital to the calibration of dynamic liquid meter provers and tank provers in the field. After 10 seconds. If they are made of carbon steel. Before 1997. Scale reading is then determined by the intersection of the horizontal plane. All invertible test measures shall be drained at a specified angle (e. a protective case is a good method of protecting and storing test measures. the owner. weigh. it is turned back upright and it is ready for use in the “to deliver” mode. API Petroleum Measurements Manual. mounted at right angles to each other. when drained for the specified drain time. The volumetric transfer method would be: • • • • • • • Fill NIST test measure Take temperature and scale reading and record Drain NIST test measure standard into the test measure that is being certified by using described draining method Take scale reading and temperature and record Drain test measure that is being certified using described draining method Repeat the above procedure a second time The two runs would be averaged to establish the volume of the test measure being certified From 1997 forward.. Chapter Four states that all non-invertible test measures shall be drained for 30 seconds from the cessation of main flow and the drain valve is then closed. test measures have been calibrated by the gravimetric weighing method. the actual capacity in cubic 539 . 70 degrees) for 10 seconds from cessation of main flow when inverted. Noninvertible standards must be equipped with a fixed anti-swirl plate. They must be kept free of debris. they should be internally coated to resist the effects of commercial solvents. drain and weigh four more times to average all five runs and establish the volume at a 95% confidence level When reviewing NIST certificates for the test measures you will see that the test measure was leveled using attached levels before scale reading is determined. “To deliver” standards are used for waterdraw calibrations as test measures have to be used more than once in a run on large volume provers. “To contain” means that the measure has to be completely dried out before each fill (dry volume). Depending on the size. Test measures can be calibrated either “to contain” or “to deliver”. dents and must be handled. The certificate will normally show the manufacturer.S. The test measure delivers ___ U. Calibration The test measure standards may be made of carbon steel or stainless steel. YOU MUST USE THE SAME PROCEDURE ON SUBSEQUENT CALIBRATIONS AS WAS USED TO CALIBRATE YOUR MEASURES.adjustable spirit levels. the nominal capacity.
4. small volume provers and tank provers. they should be handled and transported with care. The material from which it is constructed shall be shown. together with its cubical co-efficient of thermal expansion per degree C or F. 5. the test measure may be filled to any location on its scale. the liquid level read and its certified capacity is then adjusted mathematically using a plus or minus scale reading. Ch 4. They are designed and constructed to detailed specifications outlined by NIST and are calibrated “to deliver”. with the consistent amount of clingage. FIELD USE Field standard test measures are used in the waterdraw calibration of pipe provers. Drain the measure in the prescribed manner to reestablish the wet down condition. depending on whether the reading is above or below the zero line on the scale. multiple fills of one or more field standard test measures are necessary for each run. Simplified Calibration Procedure: 1. gallons. A test measure may be made in any convenient size and are often made to the exact size of small volume provers. to avoid jeopardizing the integrity of their calibration. the nominal value and a serial or identification number. OPERATION AND USE The primary use of field standard test measures is to determine the volume of a meter prover when using the waterdraw method of calibration. The temperature of the water in the test measure is recorded by immersing a thermometer in the measure or by putting the thermometer in the stream of flow while it is draining. NIST recommends that the number of fills be kept to a minimum and should not exceed 15 times. 2. and whether it was calibrated “to contain” or “to deliver”.S. is read on the scale plate and is recorded as a (+) or (-) volume.inches and U. from the bottom of the miniscus. A minus signifies that the water level is below the certified volume and a plus indicates that the water level is above the zero mark on the scale. 540 . Only test measures calibrated with a “to deliver” volume should be used in the calibration of meter provers. The test measure is filled with water to an upper scale reading. The level of the test measure is verified. 3. Each standard shall bear. CONCLUSION Field standard test measures are precision liquid volumetric measurement instruments used to calibrate dynamic provers or tank provers by the waterdraw calibration method.9. in order to keep the uncertainty of the calibration within reasonable limits. For example: if you were calibrating a 750 gallon displacement prover: a) One 500 gallon prover could be used once.2 “Determination of the Volume of Displacement and Tank Provers by the Waterdraw Method”. It is critical to account for every drop of water in order to get an accurate calibration. the manufacturer. Although very durable. With graduated neck test measures it is not necessary to operate at the zero level. NOTE: Detailed procedures for field use of these test measures for waterdraw calibration can be found in API MPMS. They are carefully manufactured in order to ensure that there is no chance for air of liquid entrapment which could affect its volume accuracy or the repeatability of successive test. Measures come in various sizes anywhere from 1 gallon up to 1500 gallons or metric equivalent. One 100 gallon could be used twice and a 50 gallon could be used once. for the next run. CALIBRATION RUN When calibrating a meter prover by the waterdraw method. The water level in the gauge glass. B) One 100 gallon could be used seven times and one 50 gallon could be used once. Therefore. in a conspicuous place.
These measures are an important tool to the petroleum measurement technician in helping ensure accurate liquid custody transfer in the field. Section 2.The Base Prover volume outlined on the calibration report is the actual true volume and the key number to be utilized during calibration runs and compensating calculations. Field standard test measures are the reference standards from which the dynamic type provers are calibrated-providing a traceable link to NIST. Section4 Tank Provers • Chapter 11. Section 7 Field Standard Test Measures • Chapter 4. Section 4. Part 1 Density of Water and Water Volumetric Correction Factors for Water Calibration of Volumetric Provers • Chapter 12. Section 8 Operation of Proving Systems • Chapter 4. References: API manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards (MPMS) • Chapter 4. Part 4 Calculation of Base Prover Volumes by the Waterdraw Method 541 .
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