IBL Testing Systems - Instrumented Buoyancy Loss

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KW Designed Solutions has designed and developed high pressure testing systems incorporating IBL tooling specifically for conducting Instrumented Buoyancy Loss (IBL) testing of subsea syntactic foam buoyancy products in line with API 17L (ISO 13628-11).

Our high pressure IBL testing system consists of a high pressure testing vessel (incorporating a test fixture to support the sample under test), a pressure-balanced load cell, a pressure transducer and a pressure control system complete with an HMI control panel; complete with an integrated PC based operator interface for logging data.

During a typical IBL test, the sample is subjected to a hyperbaric pressure equivalent to the rated depth of the buoyancy module for a period of time (hours/days). The amount of buoyancy (or uplift) is monitored throughout the duration of the test and the amount of buoyancy loss is plotted and extrapolated to End of Life (EOL).

Our IBL tooling connects to the underside of the pressure vessel closure and has a built-in device, specifically designed and engineered to prevent overloading the precision load cell during loading and unloading the test sample to and from the pressure vessel. Once loaded and the pressure chamber is filled with water, the locking mechanism is released, so that the load cell is under tension for the duration of the test.

Data acquisition via a PLC driven HMI operator interface, allows the operator to write test programs, monitor and log (pressure and force vs time), as well as log the temperature of the test media.

The user interface is designed to each customer specific requirement; ensuring that the required outputs are achieved via one system.

Instrumented Buoyancy Loss Testing IBL Tooling


  • Dry Weight Load Cell Protection Mechanism
  • Fully Integrated Operator Interface with Pressure, Temperature and Force Data Acquisition
  • Pressure Balance Load Cell with Low Range, Full Scale Resolution
  • Protective Framework with Load Rated Lifting Eyes
  • Removable Ballast System for Neutral or Negative Buoyancy
  • Suitable for All Sizes of Buoyancy Modules up to Ø1.6m X 3m


  • IBL Testing System can be Supplied Independently or as part of a Complete Turnkey Package with a High-Pressure Vessel
  • Low Range, Full-Scale Resolution, Pressure Balanced Load Cell for Increased Accuracy, Replaces the Previous LVDT Method of Measurement
  • Specifically Designed Data Acquisition to Structure and Simplify the Test Operation

Applications and Customer Uses

Specifically for use in pressure vessels for customers manufacturing and testing subsea syntactic foam buoyancy products in line with API 17L such as: Distributed Buoyancy Modules (DBM’s), Drilling Riser Buoyancy, ROV and AUV Buoyancy.

Project Example

High Pressure Testing Systems for a Subsea Test Centre - IBL Testing

As part of a series of 12 high pressure systems we designed and manufactured, specifically designed for IBL testing for a global buoyancy solutions manufacturer’s subsea test centre.

These particular systems provide high pressure testing at pressures of 700 bar for long and short term testing applications. These high pressure systems allows the test centre to trial and qualify their buoyancy products to extreme depths, accurately controlled with data acquisition.

IBL Testing System