Application of Wear-Resistant Elastomer to Significantly Improve Service Life of Telescopic Joint Packers
- C. R. Denison (LORD Corporation) | C. J. Fiore (LORD Corporation) | F. J. Krakowski (LORD Corporation)
- Document ID
- Offshore Technology Conference
- Offshore Technology Conference, 30 April - 3 May, Houston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2018. Offshore Technology Conference
- 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 1.10.5 Offshore Drilling Units, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 2.1.3 Completion Equipment
- abrasion, packer, telescopic joint, elastomer, seal
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- 178 since 2007
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Advancements in elastomer technology have enabled an increased reliability and longevity of elastomeric packers used in telescopic joints. This paper provides an overview of a new nitrile and its benefits, including improved uptime for telescopic joints, achieved by prolonging seal life while maintaining actuation pressures similar to standard nitriles.
Elastomer specimens of several nitrile and polyurethane variants were subjected to rotary platform abrasion testing per ASTM D3389. This test measures the mass lost by a specimen as it wears against a rotating abrasive wheel. These same materials were subjected to ASTM D471 standard test method for liquid effects on rubber, using water as the test fluid to evaluate their propensity to swell. Telescopic joint packers manufactured from two of these compounds were subjected to full-scale laboratory comparative testing using a modified API 16F wear test. The packers were finally installed on offshore rigs to confirm the laboratory results in an operational setting.
Until recently, the industry has primarily employed standard nitriles or urethanes as dynamic seals in abrasive drilling applications. Standard nitriles often wear quickly in high-friction applications, leading to inefficient downtime to replace seals when a leak develops. Urethanes provide improved wear-resistance compared to standard nitriles, yet they are typically stiffer than nitriles and therefore require much higher actuation pressures. Wear-resistant nitriles circumvent this compromise by offering long service life without requiring changes to operating procedures. Recent advances have resulted in the growth and acceptance of wear-resistant nitriles as a solution to the market need for improved seal durability. The wear-resistant elastomer specimens demonstrated improved performance in standard laboratory abrasion tests, losing significantly less mass than standard nitriles. This durability improvement has been confirmed through full-scale product testing in the laboratory, as well as through field testing of seals manufactured from the wear-resistant elastomer compound. Results will be provided for two seals that were tested for six months on floating drilling rigs in Brazil and the North Sea.
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