Saint-Gobain Seals Group’s OmniSeal® spring-energized seal has been qualified as a dynamic seal in chemical injection pumps for the oil and gas industry. Chemical injection pumps are at the heart of pipeline injection systems and are also used in oil wells and natural gas production and transportation.
These pumps are designed to inject selective chemicals from a reservoir onto pipelines or oil wells to facilitate the flow of pipeline content and improve production rate. Depending upon the operating environment, these positive displacement pumps can be gas driven or electric driven.
Conventional chemical injection pumps use elastomeric seals and packing elements to prevent the leakage of chemicals into the environment when chemicals are being pumped in the pipelines.
However, as operating conditions become extreme with low temperature and aggressive chemicals, these seals tend to fail prematurely. As a result, chemicals escape to the environment; thereby, causing problems for pump operators.
To avoid such situations, pump operators are required to replace the seals and repair the pumps constantly. In order to solve these challenges in low temperature and aggressive chemical environments, the Seals Group has developed and qualified a custom version of their OmniSeal® APS (Advanced Pitch Spring) seal.
The multi-groove, spring-energized polymer seal utilizes an APS type spring and a polymer jacket (see 3D illustration) and seals against plunger shafts ranging from ¼” to ½” in diameter. In a typical operating environment, the shaft speed moves up to 16 strokes per minute and 1” stroke length. The operating pressure can increase up to 3,000 psi (20,684 kPa) when sealing chemicals like methanol and other corrosion inhibitors are present.
In addition to the operating temperature ranging from -40°F (-40°C) to 104°F (40°C), the seal has to be wear resistant against a very hard and abrasive tungsten carbide shaft surface. To withstand these conditions, a proprietary Fluoroloy® material with excellent low temperature rating, wear-resistant capability and chemical compatibility was used. The use of these seals has resulted in significant reduction in friction against the shaft, power usage by the pump and overall chemical emission to the environment.
These seals have also been used in secondary leak containment devices to prevent leakage of chemicals into the environment. The containment units are retrofitted into injection pumps that have resulted in leakage resulting from the use of conventional elastomeric seals or packing elements.
Distinctive benefits of the OmniSeal® APS seal include large wear allowance in the seal jacket, installation in closed glands without damaging the seal and high-performance when low friction in dynamic conditions is required. Aside from the APS design, OmniSeal® spring-energized seals are available in multiple designs such as 103A, Spring Ring II, 400A, RP II and RACO™ 1100A and are also offered in various custom designs.
These designs include seal jackets in various Fluoroloy® materials and springs in various configurations. The Seals Group’s sealing solutions have been used in a variety of applications such as the Atlas V rocket engine (which launched the Mars Rover Curiosity into space), the only full-powered, reusable, battery-operated endoscopic stapler in the world, the world’s first subsea gas compression station and environmentally-friendly industrial dyeing machines.
The group also offers polymer solutions in the form of their Meldin® 7000, Meldin® HT and Rulon® product lines, which have also been used in space, aerospace, oil and gas, life sciences, automotive, electronics and industrial applications.
Please contact the Saint-Gobain Seals Group at [email protected] for assistance with unique applications or visit their website for more information on spring-energized seals.
About Saint-Gobain Seals Group
Saint-Gobain Seals Group is a business unit under Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics’ Engineered Components division; our parent company is one of the world’s top 100 industrial groups.
With more than 50 years of manufacturing experience and an established global presence (with strategic sites in Garden Grove, California, USA; Kontich, Belgium; and Minhang, Shanghai, China), we offer a diverse range of innovative sealing and polymer solutions.