Sealing Solutions for Subsea Systems in the North Sea

Innovative Subsea Processing Technologies

The Aasgard oil and gas field in the North Sea has been operating since 1999. Innovative subsea processing technologies were used to compress the oil and gas on the site’s seabed to improve recovery rates as the field ages and as equipment begins to draw from increasingly deeper subsea reservoirs. The operator required seals for the lid and body of the control power distribution unit in order to protect its vital electronics in the harsh, unforgiving subsea environment.

As a globally trusted source for engineered components, seals, assemblies, and sub-systems for demanding environments, Technetics was uniquely positioned to evaluate and specify a sealing solution for this application. The system designer and Technetics engineers subsequently underwent a two-year testing phase to examine the performance of a variety of sealing options.

Demanding Subsea Environment

Due to the extremely demanding environment in which the subsea Subsea Techneticspressure vessel would be operating, finding a sealing solution that would meet both the operator’s and governmental requirements turned out to be lengthy and complex. Specifically, the operator noted that the seal needed to meet high-pressure requirements with a strict leak rate of 10-11 cc/sec He for a period in excess of 10 years.

Based on the extensive testing results, Technetics identified a HELICOFLEX® spring energized metal seal as the ideal sealing solution. The HELICOFLEX® seal consists of a close-wound helical spring core and outer jacket material that provides a highly ductile and plastic sealing surface. This combination of materials allows it to provide consistent and reliable sealing performance under uneven flange pressures and imperfections in the flange surface. Benefits of the HELICOFLEX® seal include helium tightness, long seal life, and excellent corrosion resistance.

This solution not only secured the electronic equipment inside the vessel, but it also alleviated any environmental and safety concerns from potential leakage and failure of the system. Thus, the installation of the HELICOFLEX® spring energized metal seal provided the required sealing integrity.

To learn more about the HELICOFLEX® seal, download the HELICOFLEX® seal PDF.


The original article can be found on Technetics’ website.

To learn more about Technetics products, speak to a Gallagher representative today by calling 1-800-822-4063

Vesconite Superlube Load Pads Show Little Wear After Two Years

Six Vesconite Superlube load pads that have been recovered from South African rail parastatal Transnet’s Sishen-Saldanha-line bogies show little wear after two years of use.

This is according to Dr Jean-Patrick Leger, the CEO of Vesconite Bearings, which makes the polymer load pads that are installed on railway bogies - the metal structures on which the rail wheels and axles are mounted and on which railway vehicles lie.

“What is interesting is that the samples are hardly worn at all,” he says.

“We see tiny areas where there is 0.1mm wear, but you can see the original machining marks and machine ridges on most of them.”

The Vesconite Superlube load pads have been specified for manypicture of superlube load pad years on Transnet’s iron-ore line locomotives, and replaced the original specified load pads that lacked sufficient load-carrying capacity and low-friction performance.

Load-carrying capacity is a particularly important criteria in selecting load pads, notes Leger.

The Vesconite Superlube load pads have been made from an engineered polymer with a compressive yield strength of 54MPa and a recommended design loading of up to 18MPa.

This means that they can effectively support the locomotives without distorting or breaking − which is a considerable advantage when a weight of 28t to 30t is distributed on each axle of each locomotive.

The low co-efficient of friction was another important criteria why Transnet’s 15E locomotive designers chose Vesconite Superlube, says Leger.

The engineered polymer was developed with this particularly in mind, and the development process resulted in the polymer exhibiting a static friction co-efficient (dry on polished steel) and a dynamic friction co-efficient (dry on polished steel) of 0.06, he notes.

This was particularly important because of the nature of the Sishen-Saldanha track.

This 861-km-long iconic heavy-haul iron-ore transportation route is largely straight but has ten crossing loops that trains travelling in one direction move into to allow full coast-bound trains, moving in the opposite direction, to pass where necessary.

These loops all lie on the one side of the track, and this results in very little turning motion along the length of the track, except at these very particular points.

What was experienced prior to the introduction of Vesconite Superlube load pads was that the locomotive wheel sets tended to run out of alignment when coming out of a curve and, due to the straightness of the track, the wheel sets remained out of alignment for considerable distances. This, in turn, resulted in track and wheel wear.

While an authoritative study has not presented the exact savings that resulted from the introduction of Vesconite Superlube, estimated savings are considerable.

Consider that, prior to the introduction of the Vesconite Superlube load pads, the bogie frame sometimes swivelled out of the bolster, and bogie wheel sets sometimes didn’t return to their original position for hundreds of kilometres.

With the train in the forward-drive position, this would have resulted in wear to the number 1 and 11 wheels, while other wheels would be subject to wear in the reverse position.

While various mechanical means, including packing under the springs, could be used to equalise the wheel load and keep the bogie height the same, ultimately wheel cutting would be required to ensure that the wheel diameters were equalised.

On many tracks, wheel life is reduced to a fraction of the intended life of six years, which they are designed for, as a result of frequent wheel cutting.

With costs of R40,000 a wheel, or R80,000 a wheel set, the cost to associated equipment can be considerable if the incorrect load pad is used, warns Leger

When the cost of wear to the track is included, the financial benefits of using the Vesconite Superlube load pads can add up to a considerable sum, he says.


The original article can be found on Vesconite’s website.

To learn more about Vesconite products, speak to a Gallagher representative today by calling 1-800-822-4063

Creating Durable Seals in Glass-Lined Steel Equipment with Gore

A newly developed gasket tape made by Gore – of expanded polytetrafluorethylene (ePTFE) is specifically designed to address the challenges of creating reliable seals in large glass-lined steel equipment.

Equipment made of glass-lined steel is used picture of lining glasswhen manufacturing  or processing aggressive chemicals such as aniline derivatives and sulphuric or hydrochloric acid. The Achilles heel of such systems is the gaskets needed to seal the joints between components. Exposure to aggressive media causes the seals to degrade overtime, resulting in damage to equipment and posing a health risk to operators. Replacing the seals costs a great deal of time and effort, with a corresponding drop in production output.

A newly developed gasket tape made of ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluorethylene) is specifically designed to address the challenges of creating reliable seals in large glass-lined steel equipment.

Operators of chemical plants choose sealing materials according to a wide range of criteria such as process medium, flange type, sealing performance, pressure and heat resistance, cost and longevity. Other important selection criteria include time required for installation and inventory management. And, of course, a plant operations prior gasket experience weighs in as well. Gaskets for glass-lined-steel equipment are safety-relevant parts because their failure can endanger human lives and/or harm the environment, but they are often treated for administrative purposes as C-class items, that is, parts of minor significance.

This classification doesn’t reflect the true importance of these sealants. There is a need for more explicit regulations to supplement the general legislation pertaining to occupational health and safety and the handling of hazardous substances. The introduction of a European-wide regulatory basis for establishing detailed, standard processes would be welcome, for instance with respect to approval procedures and safety. As things stand today, companies are obliged to find their own compromise between varying sets of requirements. These include compliance with EU-wide and national directives concerning environmental protection and occupational health and safety. At the same time, companies are making efforts to augment the reliability of their products, simplify inventory management and installation processes, and reduce downtime and overall costs. An added factor in both cases is specific process requirements with respect to temperature, pressure and media.

SEALING CHALLENGES

One particular challenge is that of choosing the right sealant for glass-lined steel systems, because these involve the use of aggressive media such as aniline derivatives and sulphuric or hydrochloric acid under demanding conditions. Glass-lined steel presents the advantage of being highly resistant to corrosive and/or abrasive media. Other characteristic features of this material are its smooth surface, which is easy to clean due to its low adhesion properties, and its biologic and catalytic inert behaviour. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to achieve reliable seals in glass-lined steel equipment. This is because the glass lining is more brittle than the metal, and can therefore split or splinter if handled incorrectly. As a result, the gasket load that can be applied to the seal is lower than that for an all-steel flange. Consequently, care must be taken to limit the pressure applied when installing gaskets between interconnecting parts of the system.

Another problem is that of achieving a reliable seal if the flange surface is uneven or has surface deviations. Once the glass lining has fused, its surface cannot be reworked. The challenges posed by these characteristics of glass-lined steel, combined with the exposure to aggressive chemicals and high temperatures, must be met by the chosen sealant. In practice, these difficult conditions often lead to premature sealing failure and a greater risk of corrosion. The further consequences of sealing failure include leaks and uncontrolled emissions, damage to equipment, high replacement and repair costs, production losses, unplanned maintenance and downtime, and potential risks to employees’ health and safety.

Continue reading Creating Durable Seals in Glass-Lined Steel Equipment with Gore

Lower Friction, Weight, and Emissions – The Freudenberg BlueSeal

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies has begun supplying innovative, lightweight radial shaft seals to a major Detroit-based vehicle manufacturer for installation on the V6 and V8 engines powering its newest pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs).  Enter the Freudenberg BlueSeal.

The BlueSeal, part of Freudenberg’s award-winning Low Emission Sealing Solution (LESS) portfolio of engine, transmission and E-Mobility product solutions, provides significant weight, friction and installation advantages over traditional radial shaft seals. Under the contract, Freudenberg-NOK will produce more than 2 million BlueSeals annually. Production is expected to increase further to more than 4 million units annually with orders from additional customers.

40 percent lighter and 50 percent less space to install

From turbocharged engines and 10-speed transmissions topicture of blueseal electrified and electric vehicle systems, the propulsion technologies on display at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) offer evidence that fuel economy, emissions and performance are still top of mind with manufacturers and consumers alike. Freudenberg’s BlueSeal offers customers a way to help achieve better fuel economy and lower emissions in large displacement internal combustion and turbocharged engines. The BlueSeal is 40 percent lighter than conventional radial shaft seals and requires 50 percent less space to install.

“Vehicle manufacturers are looking at every possible way to increase fuel efficiency and reduce weight, especially in trucks, SUVs and turbo-charged performance vehicles,” said Jeff Nelson, vice president, Automotive Sales, Freudenberg-NOK. “Even the smallest components can have a dramatic impact on the function and efficiency of vehicle powertrains.”

The BlueSeal is made of a single material – a steel-reinforced Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) – designed to withstand harsh engine fluids while providing an axial space reduction, which allows manufacturers to downsize the engine. The seal has a low-friction Power Optimized Polytetrafluoroethylene (POP®) lip design that insures smaller dissipation loss, reduces the temperature in the contact area between the seal and shaft and performs flawlessly under different engine conditions.

Dual product development strategy for the automotive industry

The BlueSeal increases durability through its perfect sealing behavior and has a higher resistance to pressure than traditional seal designs. Its R-Tight® technology results in near-zero air leaks during assembly tests, allowing manufacturers to isolate other potential leak paths in the system.

Freudenberg is pursuing a dual product development strategy that supports continued development of advanced materials and components for internal combustion powertrain applications while pursuing new technologies that address emerging challenges associated with alternate mobility options like lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells. The BlueSeal, like many of Freudenberg’s LESS products, offers system benefits in both arenas.

“The automotive industry is undergoing profound transmission and driveline changes,” Nelson said. “It is our job to provide customers with exceptional component solutions that address the needs of all mobility platforms regardless of the fuel they use. The need to harness energy effectively and efficiently is a common denominator across our development efforts.”


The original article can be found on Freudenberg’s website.

To learn more about Freudenberg products, speak to a Gallagher representative today by calling 1-800-822-4063

Using Tekleen Filters for Seawater Filtration on Cruise Ships

1. Using Filtered Water for Ballast Water Exchange

Filtered sea water from a ship’s ballast can be released back into the sea, eliminating the potential of unloading non-native and often invasive plants and animals where they don’t belong. Many cruise lines are using on-board filtration to clean their bilge water during the ballast water exchange. By using Tekleen self-cleaning automatic filters, ballast water can be cleaned of debris and solids, thereby preventing animals, vegetation, and floating debris from exiting. Debris can then be collected and disposed of properly.

2. Pre-Filtering for Potable Water Processing from Sea Water, and Keeping Pipes Clean for Maintenance Minimization

When used for other purposes to filter water on board, an automatic self-cleaning Tekleen filter can support cooling systems, can pre-filter water for further cleaning and desalination, and can support the operational reliability of piping, spray heads and any devices that water flows through, by keeping them clean of deposits. Tekleen filters can be used to filter outgoing washwater from laundry, galleys, mess halls, swimming pools and spas, and bathing. It can be used as a pre-filter down to 2 microns, protecting R/O and microfiltration systems that might be used on board for potable water production from sea water.

Using a Tekleen filter increases the potential use of filteredtekleen filter wastewater as re-used water or make-up water throughout a processing operation.

Without a proper filtration system, the debris in source water can cause fouling of pipes and heat exchanging surfaces, which lowers the thermal efficiency of the system. Fouling also increases the friction losses and induces erosion, corrosion, and energy waste by increasing the demand for a higher flow rate. Other problems include the plugging of spray nozzles, blinding of sensors, analyzers, as well as the wearing down of pump gland seals, scrubbers, misters, membranes, and ion exchanger columns. These issues can cause unscheduled shutdowns for maintenance and cleaning and the loss of many man-hours. Filtration is one of the simplest and most convenient ways of solving these problems.

By using Tekleen self-cleaning filters, the solid debris can be captured, removed from the water flow, and disposed of properly before the filtered water reaches its destination. TEKLEEN® self-cleaning water filters provide the ultimate solution where dirty water is a problem. The filters operate on line pressure alone. The self-cleaning process is triggered by a pressure differential that occurs when water is too highly saturated with solids, and is accomplished in seconds without interrupting the main flow.

The filters are compact in size and designed to meet a variety of industrial applications.

The use of Tekleen self-cleaning filtration is also a great benefit to other uses of sea water, sea-based platforms used in extraction and processing, and water reinjection in general. For a description of these benefits, please see the Tekleen application sheet on platforms, oil production and reinjection wells in the OIL PRODUCTION section of our website.


For more information, visit Tekleen’s article via their website or chat with an experienced Gallagher Fluid Seals Engineer.

Resources: 

  1. http://www.tercenter.org/pages/bilgewater.cfm
  2. https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2017/03/02/3-easyways-to-stop-invasive-species/
  3. http://www.stapgef.org/sites/default/files/stap/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Durr.pdf
  4. MARPOL regulations- https://www.researchgate.net/
    publication/277708775_Complying_with_MARPOL_7378

Case Study: Replacing U-Cups with PTFE Spring Energized Seals in High Temperature Applications

Being commodity items, U-Cups are readily available in a number of materials and can be found on-the-shelf from multiple distributors and manufacturers in many standard sizes.

Named for the shape of their cross-section, a U-Cup’s design will be pressure energized increasing sealing effectiveness when compared to a standard O-Ring.

This means as pressure increases, the sealing lips are continually forced into the mating hardware surface, ensuring good contact at all times.

The simple and easily moldable design is an effective sealing solution to many systems in both hydraulic and pneumatic applications. Modifications in lip thickness and inclusion of an O-Ring Energizer can tailor sealing loads and wear life to specific situations.Spring Seal and U Cup

A key advantage to an elastomeric U-Cup is the relatively small and simple hardware space needed. Because of their flexible compounds, most U-Cups can be installed in a solid gland configuration.

A basic ID or OD groove is all you need for proper seal retention. Plus, no special tools or considerations need to be taken for correct installation.

U-Cups are available in many of the same compounds as standard O-Rings such as Nitrile, Fluorocarbon, and EPDM, but polyurethanes may be the most common material.

Urethane provides a good combination of elasticity/pliability and toughness. Therefore, it exhibits good sealing characteristics as well as, durability and wear resistance.

These desirable qualities make U-Cups an optimal solution for many sealing systems across multiple industries and they can be found in countless standard products. But Eclipse is approached many times a year with customers pushing the limits of standard U-Cups and in need of better solutions.

The Client’s Issue

Eclipse was approached by a leading pneumatic cylinder manufacturing seeking a sealing solution for a unique application.

While U-Cups typically provide optimal sealing performance in pneumatic cylinders, this application presented a difficult challenge.

The air cylinder was to be used as an actuator for a latch on a large industrial oven. While pressures, speeds, and cycle times were nothing out of the ordinary, the temperature at which it had to operate at was — a continuous 500°F.

Continue reading Case Study: Replacing U-Cups with PTFE Spring Energized Seals in High Temperature Applications

Garlock Case Study: Poultry Processing: KLOZURE® ISO-GARD®

Poultry Processing: KLOZURE® ISO-GARD®

ISO-GARD bearing isolators offer exceptional bearing protection for pumps, motors, and bearing supported industrial equipment under the harshest conditions.

ISO-GARD products are constructed using a filled PTFE material which provides excellent chemical resistance.

INDUSTRY

Food – Poultry Processing

CUSTOMER

A diversified food processing company, with facilities located
throughout the US.

BACKGROUND

The customer had persistent problems with sealing the bearings inpicture of iso gard their non-metallic feather picker housings. Using standard lip seals, and with a monthly maintenance program, they still encountered frequent failures. With 72 assemblies (each with two sealing locations) this had a detrimental effect on manufacturing efficiency, and placed a significant burden on the maintenance teams.

CHALLENGES FACED

Poultry feathers were getting under the lip seals and into the bearing housing, causing frequent and unexpected failures. Daily wash-downs also used a chemical cleaning solution that could also damage the bearings if not sealed correctly. Additionally, there was limited space available for any modification of sealing element.

Meat processing environments are highly regulated by the FDA, so any manufacturing changes must be carefully controlled. Therefore the customer required close support to ensure that any changes could be implemented with full confidence.

Continue reading Garlock Case Study: Poultry Processing: KLOZURE® ISO-GARD®

Metal Hose Application Do’s and Don’ts – Part 2

Metal hose applications can get tricky. Sometimes you can have problems or failures due to the surrounding piping system or because of the way the hose is installed.

Today we are going to discuss Part 2 of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to installing metal hose assemblies in a metal piping system.

Hoses can take a great deal of damage when they are torqued. Twisting it stretches the corrugations and the fitting wells and can cause it to fail. To prevent torque, don’t install the hose off-center.

When it tries to flex, the assembly will be torqued. Do install the hose in-line with itself; called in-plain. This prevents it from torquing when it flexes, and you should stick to one plain of movement. A quick test for in-plain could be done with either a sheet of paper or a flat surface like a table.

When handling long lengths or coils of hose, it’s important to make diagram of a hose wrapsure the hose doesn’t get twisted. Don’t grab one end of the coiled hose and walk away or pull on one end with the other end fixed. This will torque the hose. Do coil and uncoil it properly. Roll it like a tire or pretend like it would be on a reel and try not to twist it.

When installing a hose, significant physical damage can be done to the fitting, the welds, and the braid with the various tools that may be used to install it. Don’t use a wrench or other tools on the hose anywhere but on a hexpad. Gripping the hose by the braid, the braid collar, or the threads will damage the assembly. Do use a second wrench or a swivel-capable fitting when applicable to prevent twisting during the assembly installation.

Torquing the hose during installation is common and can be an issue. If the existing piping does not have any kind of swivel or rotation, don’t use an assembly with fixed-ends fittings at both ends. Otherwise, installation could torque the assembly and strain into service.

Do use a swivel, floating flange, or union, or other fitting that allows the hose assembly to twist during installation.

Follow these tips can help maximize your hose safety and the safety of your plant personnel. If you missed it, make sure to check out Part 1 of the video series.


This video was produced by Hose Master and can be found on their Youtube channel or on their website.

EagleBurgmann’s Patented SeccoLip

A patented lip design and the patented combination of PTFE sealing lip and sliding bearing in the lip seal element provide the new dry running seal “SeccoLip” from EagleBurgmann with particularly high flexibility. These technical features help the lip seal compensate directly and safely radial deflections of the shafts in agitators, mixers and reactors.

The sliding bearing tracks the complete lip seal element to the shaft movements. Since the lip and bearing are in one element, the sealing gap between the rotating shaft and the sealing lip remains virtually constant and the seal remains tight over the long term. Compensating elements such as O-ring, expansion washer or metal bellows are not required for reliable operation.

The modular seal was specifically designed for the operating conditions in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food industry as well as in water and wastewater technology. One or more sealing elements are combined in different possible arrangements to comply with the requirements.

Connections for a supply system are available. Due to the design features, a rolling bearing is not necessary but is optionally available.

The cartridge design makes the SeccoLip easy to install and safe to use. It is particularly suitable for a sliding velocity of up to 2 m/s (6 ft/s) and a pressure range of -1 to 6 barg.

The seal complies to ATEX, FDA and TA-Luft.

Watch the SeccoLip video here:


If you have questions about using any of EagleBurgmann’s products, visit their website: EagleBurgmann.  Or call +1 (713) 939 9515

Vesconite Sliding Wear Plates Operate Beyond 1300 Hours

Test-work on Vesconite polymer sliding wear plates have shown promising results on a crawler drill that is employed at a zinc project in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

The wear plates were installed on the rotary head slide of a drill that carries out exploration drilling at the mine from which the goal is to exploit one of the largest zinc orebodies in the world.

The rotary head moves the drill into the ground for deeper and shallower drilling. It also allows the drill to be changed.

Since the rotary head moves approximately 120 times a day, wear on the slides has been considerable, and the original-equipment-manufacturer’s (OEM’s) nylon wear pads were only lasting 500 hours.

As a result, the OEM crawler drill supplier involved in the zinc project sought a solution to extend the life of its wear pads and investigated other wear-resistant materials that could cope with highly-abrasive materials such as chrome and silica that come in contact with the pads.

Vesconite Bearings technical representative Phillip de Villiers recommended the use of Vesconite in the application to improve the total wear life of the slides.

The OEM equipment supplier reports that the Vesconite polymer wear plates have lasted more than twice as long as the OEM nylon wear pads – more than 1300 hours of operation to date. They will continue to be used and the wear life will be closely monitored in comparison with the nylon OEM parts.

The wear life will be tested and proved on the 10 wear plate picture of wear padsassemblies, which is comprised of 20 separate wear plates on the crawler drill.

On a separate application on the crawler drill, Vesconite wear plates have also been employed on the boom slide. This is the rear part of the crawler drill. It is moved and adjusted to the drilling height, and provides stability to the drill. This boom moves roughly six times a day, so the wear is not nearly as considerable as the rotary head slide.

However, with the previously-installed OEM nylon slides lasting 1000 hours on this application, there was still a need to improve the lifespan of these slides.

The OEM equipment supplier hopes that the Vesconite will last much longer than the 1000 hours of the OEM material.

With low wear on the 6 Vesconite assemblies, comprising of 12 wear plate halves, early indications are that the Vesconite will also perform well in this application.

The equipment supplier imports crawler drills from Korea for resale, and also supplies parts for these and other drills that are used in mining-exploration drilling and borehole water drilling.


Gallagher is a distributor of Vesconite products for all industries.  If you have questions about using Vesconite in any application, contact our engineering department.