Two Elastomers Receive ISO 23936 Qualification (photo: Trelleborg)
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has introduced two new advanced elastomers engineered to withstand extremely low temperatures while meeting rigorous international standards for elastomeric material in oil and gas production.
The “convention defying” materials, known as Isolast® XploRTM J9523 perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) and XploRTM V9T82 fluoroelastomer (FKM), are engineered to maintain excellent sealing function at very low temperatures while subjected to high pressure conditions. The materials – which combine these characteristics with excellent chemical compatibility – have now met the ISO 23936 standard as well as revision three of NORSOK M-710.
Oil operators contending with extreme low temperatures, such as in the North Sea or around Canada and Alaska, will now have the opportunity to reduce operator costs without the need to use higher cost solutions and pre-heated equipment. Low-temperature sealing is becoming more common in oil and gas applications but standard Hydrogenated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (HNBR) and FKM materials offer limited sealing capability below freezing when operated at high pressures. When an elastomer reaches its glass transition temperature (Tg) point, its properties change from being elastic and pliable to becoming solid and brittle. As a result, the elastomer is ineffective as a sealing solution and can be damaged easily.
Isolast® XploRTM J9523 operating temperatures range from -40° C to +240° C with short excursions to 250° C, while XploRTM V9T82 operates from -48° C to +200° C with short excursions to 210° C. These low Tg values allow the materials to remain elastic under pressure at much lower temperatures than standard grades.
Andrew Longdon, UK Technical Manager at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, says, “Isolast® XploRTM J9523 and XploRTM V9T82 are both designed to stand up to rapid gas decompression (RGD), are suitable for sour service conditions and have an outstanding extreme low temperature performance. The ability of the materials to successfully function below -20 °C while under 100 MPa is convention-defying and a further demonstration of Trelleborg’s constant determination to push the barriers of science and continue to provide more advanced and sophisticated sealing solutions.”
In addition to wellhead applications that may be subject to high operating pressures at low temperatures, Isolast® XploRTM J9523 and XploR™ V9T82 may also be ideal for drilling and intervention equipment that is stored in subzero conditions before being deployed into high pressure scenarios.