New automated test capability for oil and gas sealing materials

Arctic Rig Prepol ICEPrecision Polymer Engineering (PPE), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high performance moulded elastomer seals has invested in a third, advanced test system for the laboratory at their UK headquarters

The system provides automated testing of the resistance of sealing materials to high-pressure conditions such as those deep in undersea oil wells. PPE originally purchased their first test rig in 2007 to help in the development of seals and O-rings for the oil and gas industry. Prior to this, materials were tested at an independent, external laboratory.

Acquiring a system in-house gave PPE the ability to test more materials, more efficiently and provided faster turn-around of test results for customers. This was and remains, one of the catalysts helping PPE to grow its oil and gas sealing and components businesses.

In many oil and gas applications, the ability of a sealing material to continue to perform at high pressures and temperatures and to resist damage when depressurised is critical. PPE has a range of materials, marketed under their EnDura brand, which has been developed specifically to meet these demanding requirements.

The test systems in PPE’s laboratory are used to validate these materials and to give customers the assurance of data to support the specified operating conditions for the material.

This latest system, the third to be installed in the laboratory, is automated and capable of testing multiple components in various configurations. In this system, materials can be tested through complex cycles of pressurisation and decompression to simulate the challenging conditions that may be met in real applications.

Paul Gillyon, managing director of PPE, said, “Investing in comprehensive test capabilities over the years has given us a real competitive advantage in developing specialist sealing solutions for the oil and gas industry.

“Our market share has grown considerably and this third automated system enables us to provide more and better data to customers searching for the best materials to use in difficult conditions.”


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