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Industrial Analytical Instrumentation

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Offshore oil and gas exploration

High performance seals for
challenging oil & gas environments

Dichtomatik Ltd, an approved supplier for the DuPont™ range of high performance O-ring seals and gaskets, has extended their stock range of sealing components, including specifically designed items for the high pressure / high temperature (HPHT) conditions as encountered in the demanding oil and gas production and development environments. High performance seals such as Viton® fluoroelastomers have been used in extraction, refining and upgrading industries for over five decades.

Typical installations have successfully solved critical sealing problems where elastomers such as nitrile or EPDM have failed to provide an effective long-term sealing performance. Later developments have seen the introduction of DuPont™ Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer parts which can withstand operating conditions involving attack from a range in excess of 1800 chemicals, solvents and plasmas, even where  incorporating working conditions up to 327°C (620°F) are utilised.

Viton® outlasts nitrile rubber and other general-purpose elastomers and is ISO 9000 registered worldwide. The ability of this product to withstand both high heat and low temperatures as well as attack from aggressive fuels and chemicals, makes it an ideal medium for the production of protective coatings as well as O-rings, together with gaskets in a wide variety of custom shapes and sizes. This proven versatility ensures that user customers can utilise longer maintenance intervals for production processes, ensuring budget reductions particularly for down-hole applications which can involve particularly hard access conditions.

The Kalrez® parts are particularly suitable for HTPT seal applications, providing long-term performances over a wide spectrum of oil and gas industry working requirements. These perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) parts are highly resistant to aggressive chemicals and solvents, including sour multi-phase fluids. O-ring seals retain high levels of elasticity and recovery, even after long-term exposures at elevated temperatures. The Kalrez® parts for HPHT down-hole environments also provide outstanding rapid gas decompression (RGD) resistance. In fact, rigorous third party laboratory testing for RGD resistance have recorded Kalrez® 0090 AS568-312 O-rings with the highest possible rating of 0000 per the NORSOK M-710 Rev 2 standard.

The performance benefits that have been achieved by the DuPont™ range of products have also extended the MTBR duration from days for some installations to months and even years for other specific applications. These results ensure considerable savings on site downtimes and loss of production, together with savings on manpower costs as plant repair times can be drastically reduced as well as loss of process products through leakages resulting from sealing failures.

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FFKM seals can outperform metal
o-rings at high pressures and temperatures

The deformation of metal O-ring seals can occur where process operating conditions reach temperatures up to 300°C, with liquid pressures also as high as 100 bar. This form of seal failure can result in leaks, causing safety concerns while also necessitating clean-up operations and the interruption or total suspension of production line activities.

However, costly breakdowns can be reduced or even virtually eliminated by utilising the DuPont™ Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) O-ring seals. In examples where these high performance products have replaced the OEM fitted metal seals, uninterrupted production periods in excess of 10 years have been experienced without any lost production processes due to seal failures. Scheduled maintenance periods can also be safely extended leading to manpower savings coupled with increased production outputs.

The Kalrez® O-ring seals are available in the UK from authorised distributor Dichtomatik Ltd. Finished O-rings, custom shapes, sheet and cords are manufactured exclusively by DuPont™ from raw material right through to the finished products, and  Kalrez® is now the choice of elastomer for the most demanding sealing applications.

Kalrez® is recognised as the market leading perfluoroelastomer which is resistant to over 1800 different chemicals while offering the high temperature stability of PTFE (327°C). The advanced properties of the product help maintain seal integrity with increased production safety, while also helping to minimise manufacturing and maintenance costs.

Typical worldwide markets that can benefit from the proven advantages offered by Kalrez® products include aggressive chemical processing, food and pharmaceutical production activities, oil and gas recovery, petroleum applications, power generation together with semiconductor wafer processing involving a wide range of industrial and electronic grade chemicals.

Subsequent removal or in-situ repairs of affected equipment such as gear pumps, centrifuges, reactors and quick-release couplings can be expensive, particularly if the MTBF times are of short duration, leading to high unscheduled costing levels together with production shut-downs and process liquid losses. Labour costs alone covering major component strip-downs or complete unit replacements can be very substantial.

For further information, website:   
Refer to page 368

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