Trelleborg Support Operators XploR™ Deeper Waters with Latest Seal Designs

As oil and gas industry operators continue to extract oil from increasingly deeper waters, conditions for seals within downhole equipment become more extreme. In addition to harsh chemical attack from production fluids, the materials and designs must now withstand even higher pressures and temperatures.

Recently entering the market are two new seals in a material formulated specifically for oil and gas industry applications, designed for not only downhole tools, but also to provide improvements to products found in any static or slow dynamic oilfield sealing scenario.

XploR™ S-Seal and XploR™ FS-Seal from Trelleborg Sealing Solutions are custom- engineered seals that combine the benefits of integral support components with the flexibility of an elastomer seal.

“We’re always looking to not just meet the requirements of a product for an application, but to understand how we can improve performance and create benefits that our customers don’t necessarily expect,” says James Simpson, Oil & Gas Segment Manager Europe for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions. “So, we’ve developed two customizable seals that can be modelled using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software and then adapted to meet the specific requirements of each application.

“When downtime costs run into the millions and unplanned maintenance can cost even more, determining the correct solutions from the start is important. Improving seal longevity through innovative seal design and material formulations can greatly reduce planned maintenance intervals and failure rates, ensuring operations can run for longer.”

Anti-extrusion is achieved through careful design of the elastomer seal body, tailoring its shape to achieve optimum stress distribution.

The standard S-Seal has been a proven solution for a number of years, due to its simple one-piece design, extrusion resistance and easy installation. “The XploR™ S-Seal and XploR™ FS-Seal are based on the original S-Seal design, and offer the same benefits, but can better withstand the higher pressures and temperatures of deeper water extraction,” says Simpson.

What sets these seals apart are new anti-extrusion features and specialized proprietary materials to extend the seal’s operating range beyond a standard S-Seal design. “Extensive testing and real-world installations have proven their resistance up to over 100 MPa and +200 °C,” says Simpson.

Anti-extrusion is achieved through careful design of the elastomer seal body, tailoring its shape to achieve optimum stress distribution throughout the seal, using iterative Finite Element Analysis (FEA) cycles. This is then held by a corrosion resistant spring within the body, supporting the rubber elements, but allowing movement for easy installation.

“In some cases, with the S-Seal, we found wear on the mating surfaces related to the metallic garter spring due to small movements resulting from heat and pressure fluctuations,” continues Simpson. “But by modifying the spring material and design to a composite, it retains the flexibility but is more forgiving on the hardware.”

The XploR™ materials offer Rapid Gas Decompression (RGD) and sour gas resistance, and meet important industry-specific standards and

August 2020 47

above: Finite Element Analysis of XploR™ S-Seal installed in hardware. below: The same seal operating at 177 Degrees Celsius under 103 MPa.

approvals, such as NORSOK, NACE, API and Total. Combine this with the design versatility of the new products, and the benefits are clear.

“We can really set ourselves apart from the competition with our custom capabilities. By customizing the seal, we can also provide other benefits, such as weight and size reduction. Trelleborg Sealing Solutions is set up to make the customization process quick and easy,” concludes Simpson.

As a global company with local presence, local engineers work with companies while a global manufacturing and logistics network ensure that parts get where they need to be, when they need to be there.

q +44 121 744 1220 H

XploR S-Seal and XploR FS-Seal are custom-engineered, spring-energized elastomer seals.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52