Research & Development Services


Ohmsett's unique testing venue plays an essential role in the development of new technology. We provide the perfect opportunity to evaluate new designs and prototypes, and to test the efficiency of new oil spill devices against a wide range of controlled oil spills with known characteristics. Ohmsett allows manufacturers the opportunity to learn more about their product by testing in real environmental conditions and real-time data analysis for equipment designers, allowing them to redesign and develop more effective procedures for responding to future oil spills.

The facility also supports research projects to study oil behavior, pumping strategies, towing forces, oil/mineral aggregates, bio-fuels, remote sensors, submerged and sunken oil, and chemical dispersants, to name just a few. Current researchers have included government agencies, universities, private companies and environmental research organizations.

Members of the Ohmsett staff belong to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F20 Committee on Hazardous Substances and Oil Spill Response. The F20 Committee was formed in 1975 to develop and update documents relevant to hazardous substances and oil spill response. The committee, with current membership of approximately 120, now has jurisdiction of over 55 standards, published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Volume 11.04.

Ohmsett uses ASTM standards for all oil spill equipment evaluations. ASTM standards exist for equipment testing such as booms and skimmers, for the selection of appropriate equipment for spill response, for oil spill terminology and for related laboratory procedures. These protocols define a series of test methods to determine the oil containment and recovery efficiencies of spill response equipment, such as booms and skimmers, when they are subjected to a variety of towing and wave conditions. In addition to oil containment evaluations, numerous other performance characteristics are quantitatively and qualitatively identified and determined. The tests provide standardized procedures for any system tested. Additionally, the tests provide evaluation of the system's capabilities in different environmental conditions and the ability to compare test results of a particular equipment type with others having undergone these standard tests.

Several Ohmsett staff members have also helped the F20 Committee in the development of the F-2084-01 Standard Guide for Collecting Containment Boom Performance Data in Controlled Environments and F-2709-08 Standard Test Method for Determining Nameplate Recovery Rate of Stationary Oil Skimmer Systems. Both stanards were developed based on Ohmsett testing methods .

Pertinent ASTM standards include:

  • D 97-96a Test Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Oils
  • D 445-97 Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (the Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity)
  • D 971-91 Standard Test Method for Interfacial Tension of Oil Against Water by the Ring Method
  • D 1298-85 Standard Practice for Density, Relative Density (Specific Gravity), or API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Hydrometer Method
  • D 1796-97 Standard Test Method for Water and Sediment in Fuel Oils by the Centrifuge Method (Laboratory Procedure)
  • D 2983-87 Standard Test Method for Low-Temperature Viscosity of Automotive Fluid Lubricants Measured by Brookfield Viscometer
  • D 4007-81 (1995) Test Method for Water and Sediment in Crude Oil by Centrifuge Method (Laboratory Procedures)
  • D 4092-96 Test Method for Density and Relative Density of liquids by Digital Density Meter
  • F-631-93 Standard Guide for Collecting Skimmer Performance Data in Controlled Environments
  • F-818-93 Standard Terminology Relating to Spill Response Barriers
  • F-2084-01 Standard Guide for Collecting Containment Boom Performance Data in Controlled Environments
  • F-2709-08 Standard Test Method for Determining Nameplate Recovery Rate of Stationary Oil Skimmer Systems

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