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Spring-energized seals designed for high-pressure, high-temperature environments

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions launched its XploR S-Seal and XploR FS-Seal custom-engineered, spring-energized elastomer seals. Meeting the needs of the oil, gas and energy industries, these offer maximum extrusion resistance in demanding high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) sealing environments.

“Our new XploR S-Seal and XploR FS-Seal combine the benefits of integral support components with the flexibility of an elastomer seal in static applications. Unlike typical O Ring and Back-up ring or T-Seal solutions, these seals are single-piece components, engineered to make installation easier and safer. Being one component, the design removes the need for multiple Back-up Rings and supports that require correct placement in the housing, significantly simplifying installation in closed grooves and in ‘blindly installed’ applications, reducing the likelihood of damage,” said James Simpson, Global Segment Director Oil & Gas and Energy, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions.

The elastomer materials for the seals are from the XploR range of Trelleborg Sealing Solutions compounds specifically developed for the harshest of oil and gas processing conditions, providing resistance to Rapid Gas Decompression (RGD) and sour gas.

Molded into the elastomer profile of the XploR S-Seal and XploR FS-Seal, are two corrosion-resistant metallic anti-extrusion springs. These facilitate high pressure operation through a temperature range of -45°C to 260°C / -49°F to +500°F and ensure pressure transmits uniformly in all directions across the seal footprint. There is an option to overwind these springs with a polyetheretherketone or carbon fiber composite material to meet specific pressure requirements.

The anti-extrusion springs provide strong extrusion resistance to the seal while the elastomer element maintains a gas-tight seal when un-pressurized. During operation, the springs work with the pressure to increase the sealing effect. As system pressure increases, the anti-extrusion springs are forced into the extrusion gap area providing a robust and reliable seal.

The S-Seal has a rectangular body and rounded seal surface. The seal replaces an O-Ring and Back-up Rings or T-Seal in HPHT static applications. The FS-Seal profile has a concave feature on the base with a rounded sealing surface. This allows for increased compression in HPHT situations, specifically for large diameter clearance requirements.

Static test fixtures provided in-house testing of typical requirements for American Petroleum Institute (API) 6A PR2 certification. This testing validates the compatibility of the S-Seal and FS-Seal at specific pressures and temperatures as indicated by the test protocol. Materials are NORSOK and ISO 23936 compliant.

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