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Rising to the Challenge: Simriz® 498 O-Ring Performs in Extreme Heat for Oil & Gas Manufacturer

Learn how a US manufacturer used our Simriz® 498 O-rings to overcome seal degradation and reduce complexity in their pumps used in the oil & gas industry.

Sealing solutions such as O-rings are often one of the most overlooked portions of equipment as it is much more common for people to think about the power, or the versatility of the equipment first and not put much thought into the seal, that is until they have trouble with sealing failures. Sealing solutions such as O-rings are truly an indispensable part of any equipment because they affect performance, reliability and can fully shut down production if it fails. This is why seals are often thought of as invisible but they will always be essential. In industries such as oil and gas where the seals are subjected to extreme conditions you can’t just simply use any seal, you need a specialized solution to provide reliable operation.

O-Rings in the Oil and Gas Industry

Injection pump

O-rings are one of the most common sealing elements and can be found in a massive range of industries, and applications. This holds true in the oil and gas industry as O-rings play a pivotal role in the essential sealing elements of many systems. O-rings are used in applications from valves and pumps to pipelines and drilling rigs among other applications in the industry and are tasked with containing a variety of fluids and gases under extreme conditions. It is common for seals to be exposed to high pressures, extreme temperatures, aggressive chemicals, and abrasive environments in the operation of the equipment. Beyond the challenges faced within the operation of the equipment, the equipment is typically used in an outdoor setting exposing it to fluctuating temperatures, moisture such as rain or snow, sunlight, ozone, and dirt providing additional stresses on the seals. These conditions can lead to accelerated degradation, loss of elasticity, and ultimately, failure of the O-ring. Selecting the appropriate material composition and design is paramount to ensure the reliability and longevity of O-rings used in oil & gas applications.

The Challenge

A national manufacturer in the United States found that their O-rings from their current supplier degraded quickly during operation and weren’t capable of withstanding the incredibly high temperatures to provide a long sealing life. They found that it was necessary to replace the O-rings at very short intervals to keep them functioning. This created significant downtime resulting in lost revenue which is truly unacceptable with such a large investment. Additionally, the regular failure of the seals created environmental and safety concerns due to the very hot temperatures, and harsh chemicals used should a seal fail.

Their injection pumps were being used in oil field drilling operations and were continuously operating at extremely high temperatures of up to +500°F (+260°C) all while being subjected to chemicals, petroleum, and water-based coolants. Beyond the major challenges they were facing with seals quickly degrading they were also using several different materials in the O-rings throughout the system in hopes of optimal performance, but this in turn created a lot of unnecessary complications due to the need to order, store and identify the correct material for unique to each location within the equipment making it a huge challenge for everyone involved.

The manufacturer quickly realized that selecting the right sealing material for their applications proved to be too difficult for their team‘s technical knowledge and reached out to one of our distribution partners. Our distributor quickly contacted our team to help provide the technical assistance needed to both find a material that could solve the challenges they faced and reduce the number of materials needed to only one throughout the entire system.

The Solution

Our team was quickly able to identify our Simriz® 498 material as the ideal solution for the challenges faced by the manufacturer. The material is specially designed for thermal stability even in extreme conditions of up to +608°F (+320°C). With its unique patented material structuring Simriz® 498 provides exceptional performance long-term in almost every environment.

Thanks to the ability to quickly replace the O-rings throughout the whole system of the injection pumps with our Simriz® 498 FFKM compound the manufacturer quickly saw an incredible improvement in the performance of the equipment and can now continuously run their equipment without the fear of a seal failure. They were also significantly able to reduce complexity within the logistics of now only needing one material instead of several for the O-rings throughout the system. This was possible thanks to the versatility of Simriz® 498 to withstand a diverse range of temperatures and chemicals. The manufacturer stated, “Simriz® 498 solved all my problems!”

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