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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.
liquid or foreign material. crevices or pockets that may entrap air. Cones Standards ≤ 10 gallons have a top cone of 35 degrees and a bottom cone of 20 degrees. Their bottom band is perpendicular to the vertical axis of the measure and when placed on a level surface. the pressure from the liquid should not distort the standard or change its volume in any way. 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. During fabrication. Bottom drain standards have 2 spirit levels. 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. 90 degrees apart for determining whether the unit is level. should be level. Neck To prevent distortion or damage to the neck. 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. NON-INVERTIBLE TEST MEASURE Reinforcement Bands When full. These angles provide for appropriate 537 . All parts of the main body of a test measure must be made of corrosion resistant series 300 stainless steel. They are drained by picking them up by their bale handle and inverting them to within 15 degrees of vertical. the opening at the top shall be reinforced by a rolled bead or a welded band.INVERTIBLE TEST MEASURE Invertible test measures do not have a bottom drain. There can be no dents. any interior welded seams must be filled and ground smooth. usually mounted on the top cone. while standards ≥ 10 gallons have a top cone of 25 degrees and a bottom cone of 20 degrees.
full opening valve is the type that should be used. 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. The gauge glass should be made of borsilicate type glass. In order to indicate whether the valve has been either removed or replaced. between the upper and lower gauge glass blocks. on the scale. which changes the volume. modified. the downward slope of the line must provide complete and proper drainage. a wire seal should be attached from the drain line to the valve. Test measure drain valves shall be sealed to indicate whether the valve has been changed. Drain Lines A gravity discharge line between the bottom of the bottom cone and the shut-off valve is considered the drain line. Gauge Glass Test measures are equipped with a gauge glass and scale assembly mounted on the side of the neck. The level must be determined in two directions 90 degrees apart and can be used to verify the permanently mounted spirit levels. Alternatively. In the bottom cone. 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. which is at the approximate center of the neck height. If a drain line extends from the bottom center of a field standard test measure. an anti-vortex baffle plate is welded in place. no more than 1/4” from the glass. which creates a vortex while draining. Any replacement glass must conform to the original inside and outside diameter specified by the manufacturer. All test measures should be equipped with a minimum of two 538 . The zero mark. This drain valve shall be a quick-acting full-port valve. Minimum drain sizes are described in NIST Handbook 105-3 Tables 1a and 1b. If removed and replaced the amount of turns on the threads could differ from its original position. indicates the nominal volume of the test measure. Scale Plate and Graduations The scale plate is made of corrosion resistant metal. a metal-to-metal flange arrangement between the drain line and the drain valve is the preferred method of drain valve connection. or repaired in any way that effects the integrity of the volume determined at the last calibration. This valve must be leak-free at all times. The glass must be removable and replaceable without breaking the seal on the scale and voiding the calibration. 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. 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. If the seal is broken or missing the test measure must be recalibrated. The seal must be installed in such a way the scale cannot be moved by the adjusting rod unless the seal is removed. This plate minimizes the circular liquid motion. All drain valves must have the capability of being sealed prior to calibration of the test measure. The scale is wire sealed in place upon calibration. The drain valve is a very important component of the calibrated volume. replaced. Seals shall be affixed with corrosion-resistant stainless steel wire and provide positive integrity that the drain valve has not been replaced. This drain line shall be sized to provide the maximum drainage rate possible consistent with a smooth and controlled drainage. or shall have a visual-inspection device immediately downstream of the valve to detect valve failure. A quick acting. open-ended for visual inspection. NIST verifies the can levels by placing a precision machinist’s spirit level on the side of the neck instead of the top. Certain flanged type valves by design allow replacement of internal o-rings without effecting the calibrated volume of the test measure. which if replaced requires the recalibration of the test measure. The volume is altered if this valve is turned to a different number of threads. either more or less. Some test measures are equipped with drain valves that are threaded on to the drain line. while emptying the test measure with the drain valve fully open and adhering to the prescribed draining time. It is mounted tangentially to the front of the gauge glass. Many test measures have drain valves that are simply screwed into the drain line. usually stainless steel or aluminum.drain characteristics. This drain line should be sloped downward at a minimum of 5 degrees from horizontal in order to provide an adequate drain. just above the center drains. The scales are mounted to yokes that are secured to adjusting rods that run parallel to the gauge glass.
the NIST number.g. Scale reading is then determined by the intersection of the horizontal plane. Test measures can be calibrated either “to contain” or “to deliver”. Calibration The test measure standards may be made of carbon steel or stainless steel. dents and must be handled. the owner. The test measure delivers ___ U. The test measure is now ready for use in the “to deliver” mode. “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. the nominal capacity. mounted at right angles to each other. If they are made of carbon steel. 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. gallons at 60 degree F. The certificate will normally show the manufacturer. They must be kept free of debris. petroleum products and water. A separate calibration run is conducted on the top neck of the test measure to establish volume increments of the scale.. they should be internally coated to resist the effects of commercial solvents. All invertible test measures shall be drained at a specified angle (e. YOU MUST USE THE SAME PROCEDURE ON SUBSEQUENT CALIBRATIONS AS WAS USED TO CALIBRATE YOUR MEASURES. After 10 seconds. 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. when drained for the specified drain time. API Petroleum Measurements Manual. transported and stored with care to prevent jeopardizing the integrity of their calibrations. Noninvertible standards must be equipped with a fixed anti-swirl plate. with the graduated scale. Before 1997. 70 degrees) for 10 seconds from cessation of main flow when inverted. 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. all test measures were calibrated by the volumetric transfer method. 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. the actual capacity in cubic 539 . tangent to the bottom of the gauge meniscus. “To contain” means that the measure has to be completely dried out before each fill (dry volume). test measures have been calibrated by the gravimetric weighing method. weigh.adjustable spirit levels. it is turned back upright and it is ready for use in the “to deliver” mode.S. The adjusting screws on these levels must be equipped with a means for wire sealing and the level must have a protective cover. “To deliver” means that the measure will be allowed to drain for a specified time after cessation of the main flow of water. Depending on the size. a protective case is a good method of protecting and storing test measures. 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.
Only test measures calibrated with a “to deliver” volume should be used in the calibration of meter provers. With graduated neck test measures it is not necessary to operate at the zero level. Ch 4. B) One 100 gallon could be used seven times and one 50 gallon could be used once. in a conspicuous place. multiple fills of one or more field standard test measures are necessary for each run. Drain the measure in the prescribed manner to reestablish the wet down condition. small volume provers and tank provers. Although very durable. A test measure may be made in any convenient size and are often made to the exact size of small volume provers. The material from which it is constructed shall be shown. Measures come in various sizes anywhere from 1 gallon up to 1500 gallons or metric equivalent.9. 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. One 100 gallon could be used twice and a 50 gallon could be used once. The test measure is filled with water to an upper scale reading. Therefore. 2. The water level in the gauge glass. together with its cubical co-efficient of thermal expansion per degree C or F. they should be handled and transported with care. 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. NIST recommends that the number of fills be kept to a minimum and should not exceed 15 times. 3. Each standard shall bear. FIELD USE Field standard test measures are used in the waterdraw calibration of pipe provers. It is critical to account for every drop of water in order to get an accurate calibration.2 “Determination of the Volume of Displacement and Tank Provers by the Waterdraw Method”. is read on the scale plate and is recorded as a (+) or (-) volume. CONCLUSION Field standard test measures are precision liquid volumetric measurement instruments used to calibrate dynamic provers or tank provers by the waterdraw calibration method. with the consistent amount of clingage. 5. and whether it was calibrated “to contain” or “to deliver”. 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. depending on whether the reading is above or below the zero line on the scale. The level of the test measure is verified. the liquid level read and its certified capacity is then adjusted mathematically using a plus or minus scale reading. 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 nominal value and a serial or identification number. gallons. for the next run. the test measure may be filled to any location on its scale. 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. 4.inches and U. Simplified Calibration Procedure: 1. the manufacturer. NOTE: Detailed procedures for field use of these test measures for waterdraw calibration can be found in API MPMS. 540 . They are designed and constructed to detailed specifications outlined by NIST and are calibrated “to deliver”. to avoid jeopardizing the integrity of their calibration.S. CALIBRATION RUN When calibrating a meter prover by the waterdraw method. from the bottom of the miniscus.
Section4 Tank Provers • Chapter 11. Part 1 Density of Water and Water Volumetric Correction Factors for Water Calibration of Volumetric Provers • Chapter 12. Part 4 Calculation of Base Prover Volumes by the Waterdraw Method 541 . These measures are an important tool to the petroleum measurement technician in helping ensure accurate liquid custody transfer in the field. Section 7 Field Standard Test Measures • Chapter 4. Section 4. Section 8 Operation of Proving Systems • Chapter 4. References: API manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards (MPMS) • Chapter 4. Field standard test measures are the reference standards from which the dynamic type provers are calibrated-providing a traceable link to NIST.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. Section 2.
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