Materials knowledge is a key advantage gained by working with DP Seals
Hostile environments like oil exploration and sub-sea cabling demand seals and mouldings capable of surviving temperature extremes and aggressive fluids. For many years, such seals were made from hydrogenated nitrile rubber (HNBR) because of its resistance to attack from mineral oils and petroleum solvents.
Today's high performance rubber polymers are extremely costly; however, recent advances in compounding have identified some lower cost alternatives.
DP Seals has mastered FFKM. This fully-fluorinated perfluoroelastomer provides an exceptional combination of temperature and chemical performance making it the material of choice for the harshest down-hole well drilling conditions.
Below FFKM is FKM, offering high temperature performance, exceptional resistance to chemicals and mineral oils, and good resistance to ozone and sunlight. However, its long-term problems with high pH chemicals (bases) are solved with Viton Extreme compounds such as ETP 600S. This new fluoroelastomer offers improved tensile strength, superior compression set resistance and lower volume swell for longer seal life and wear resistance, making it ideal for use in oil and gas exploration.Viton Extreme bonded to stainless steel washers
for use in Arctic conditions
Optimised HNBR compounds are now available that offer a performance envelope similar to FFKM at a significantly lower cost. They maintain the high temperature performance while extending low temperature applications to -50°C, expanding opportunities in Arctic-like weather conditions. Additionally, HNBR’s excellent resistance to abrasion is extended, offering engineers a choice between optimised HNBR and FFKM for applications such as down-hole exploration and monitoring equipment.
Cutting-edge polymer choices
For companies at the cutting edge of their technologies, DP Seals continuously investigates new rubber polymers through its on-going R&D programme to better understand not only the material's design performance but also its moulding characteristics.
HNBR's advantages in oil and gas are well understood; carboxylation further improves abrasion resistance making it one tough material.
Teflon-coated rubber has been around for some time. However, using nano-particle Teflon as a fluoroelastomer filler shows immense promise, reducing friction with no flexibility and flaking side-effects.
Fluoroelastomers perform well at high temperatures but poorly at low temperatures; silicone fluoroelastomer works down to -50°C without top-end compromise with upgraded chemical resistance and much improved metal bonding.
As oil and gas exploration moves into Arctic and Antarctic regions, so the demand for hard wearing, high pressure, low temperature polymers grows. DP Seals has teamed up with Solvay Specialty Polymers (world #2 in fluorochemicals) to pioneer the use of new technology polymers offering a -40°C glass temperature and improved chemical resistance profile. We are already making subsea mouldings in this material for clients.
Need specialist advice?
With the increasing variety of rubber compounds available, and the ability to tailor them to specific requirements, engineers are continually finding new and innovative uses for rubber mouldings. At DP Seals we pride ourselves on being able to provide specialist advice in selecting and developing exactly the right blend of materials to meet a vast range of performance requirements. Email our for help and advice.
If you are unsure about what material might be best, check out the article: "Mind the gap - a guide to custom rubber", for ideas, call us on +44 (1202) 644422 or email our .
Every customer receives the same high level of service from DP Seals: uncompromising quality control.
Click on the image to download PDFs of our AS 9100 with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 Certificates, our Quality, Environmental and Health and Safety Policies document and RoSH compliance statement.