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Hydraulic Impulse Pressure

An impulse pressure test, or a pressure fatigue test is the cyclic application of pressure on a component in a controlled manner. The goal of this type of testing is often to determine the pressure fatigue endurance of the part which correlates to the expected lifespan of the part. This can be helpful during the development of a new part for it to be approved for use, or in periodic QA checks of production parts. This testing is often ended when the part begins to leak past the seals or through a crack in the pressure vessel.

Oftentimes during a product development cycle a DFMEA, or design failure modes and effects analysis will be performed to try to predict how a part will fail and what the effects will be, but these predictions and the Finite Elements Analysis that are often run on these parts are not a sure method of predicting where the weak links are in a system. An FEA might accurately tell you where the highest stress concentration will be, but it may not be able to accurately predict the lifespan of the part since it cannot account for all of the manufacturing tolerances or other effects of the manufacturing process that can affect pressure fatigue life. The best method of determining failure modes and effects is to conduct an accelerated test that most closely replicates the conditions that the component or assembly will experience during years of use.


If you are not sure what sort of performance you need out of your component it can be helpful to run a series of competitor components at the same time and under the same conditions. The pressure fatigue life of the competitor components can be a benchmark to determine if your product will be competitive in the market.

You can also benchmark your own product if you are going to change to a new manufacturing process, or would like to compare various suppliers. Because even small and imperceptible changes in a part can have a significant effect on pressure fatigue life it can be important to run a series of tests in order to reduce the risk of premature failures by testing a statistically significant number of parts and comparing the distribution of results of different batches.

Clark Test Report

Clark’s test reports adhere to the quality requirements of ISO 17025:2017 and will include.

  • An overview and summary of the testing performed
  • A detailed list of the setup and NIST-traceable instruments that were used
  • The test method used
  • Test results; including load vs time, data tables, comments and observations from the test
  • Photographs of the test setup and the parts for failure analysis
Clark Impulse Pressure Testing Capabilities
  • Pressures up to 6,000 psi with oil
  • Data acquisition on dozens of channels at rates up to the mhz range
  • Strain gage application and data recording

If you need a custom test setup incorporating other factors such as temperature or mechanical loads simultaneously applied during your impulse pressure test contact Clark today and we will have one of our engineers work with you to design a test setup that will meet your specific needs

We work closely with you to validate engineering, ensure quality, analyze products and qualify equipment while supporting the time constraints and product cycles that are vital to your success.

Paul Heffernan, CEO of Clark Testing