Saint-Gobain Seals to Present Technical Paper on Next-Generation Materials in Edinburgh

Saint-Gobain Seals Group, a global leader in designing and manufacturing high-performance seals and polymer components, will be presenting details of its next generation of materials at the High Performance Polymers for Oil & Gas Conference, which will be held on April 15 and 16, 2014, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Their technical paper entitled, “Development of Next Generation of Materials for Sealing Solutions in HPHT conditions,” was selected by the conference advisory board and will be presented by Mathilde Leboeuf, Saint-Gobain Seals Group European R&D Manager, under the main theme of “Developing and Modeling Materials for the Future of the Industry”  in the agenda.  The High Performance Polymers for Oil & Gas conference brings together engineers, processors, end-users, designers, R&D, and senior management for technical discussions on non-metallic sealing systems, low temperature resistance, high pressure-high temperature application experience and other industry specific topics.

Christophe Valdenaire, Saint-Gobain Seals Group Market Manager – Energy, said, “We are honored to have been selected to present our technical paper at the High Performance Polymers Oil & Gas conference not only because we are able to share our innovations in sealing and polymer technology to address the challenges of this industry but also to be a part in recognizing the importance of on-going research, development and qualification of materials to move this industry forward.”

The technical paper focuses on the impact of exposure at of high-performance and high temperature (HPHT) conditions (30 kpsi – 250°C) of thermoplastic materials used in spring-energized seals and back up rings, results of the qualification of thermoplastics according to NORSOK M710, rev2 specification at different levels of H2S to guarantee their chemical resistance, development of a thermo-mechanical material model that captures the behavior of thermoplastics, and description of viscoplastic behavior of a large class of polymers.  Examples of numerical simulations will be presented to illustrate the use of this model in the validation of sealing solutions.

Saint-Gobain Seals Group embarked on the development of next generation of materials that can be used to fabricate the next generation of sealing solutions due to the rising need to improve Subsea Production Systems that can operate at high pressure and high temperature beyond 15 kpsi and 200°C/392°F.  In recent years, major oil companies have had considerable success in exploring deeper waters in several established basins like Gulf of Mexico, the Caspian Sea, Western Africa and Brazil; however, as operators continue to move into deep resource-rich regions, they realized that technological advances were not robust enough to sustain long-term production in fields where ever-rising pressures and temperatures characterize virtually every reservoir.  Sealing solutions have been regarded in the industry as the technology with the largest opportunity to overcome the above difficulties, primarily due to the polymers that are used for these applications. As a result, there is an emphasis on the research and development of new materials that can withstand demanding conditions.

Performance of the Seals Group’s next generation materials will be confirmed by experimental work as well as a proprietary FEA material model.  Their research over the years indicates that elastomers have shown evidence of reaching their limits in terms of HPHT resistance, and thermoplastic sealing solutions offer a strong alternative because of their thermal and chemical resistant properties as well as their rapid gas decompression resistance.

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.

The majority of seals and polymer components manufactured are custom designed and matched with the best materials to optimize their performance in various applications and markets.

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