HOUSTON—Precision Polymer Engineering Ltd. has developed an EPDM elastomer that provides high temperature steam resistance.
EnDura E90SR is available as O-rings, T seals and custom molded geometries. It is used in pumps, valves, turbines, geothermal tools and drilling equipment.
The firm said the material will be produced at its facility in Blackburn, England. Steve Jagels, global market manager for oil and gas, said the firm is investing in additional press capability at Blackburn in conjunction with the new product.
Jagels said E90SR is the sixth addition to the company's EnDura range, which includes all major polymer chemistries such as fluoroelastomers, hydrogenated nitrile, tetrafluoroethylene/propylene dipolymers and perfluoroelastomers.
“To successfully grow in the oil and gas market, you really have to have material that will fit each niche, each extreme environment to its maximum,” he said. “We noticed one of the holes was high temperature steam resistance.”
Jagels said Precision Polymer was approached by a number of customers who identified a need for materials that could withstand high pressures and saturated steam. E90SR provides resistance to rapid gas decompression and can withstand high pressures and temperatures up to 550°F.
Precision Polymer said it took about a year to develop E90SR. Ideal use for the product is in anaerobic high temperature environments such as those encountered in geothermal applications and enhanced oil recovery applications.
“It's a market where people really care about the performance of the seal,” Jagels said. “A failure could cause a very high expense of either downtime of the equipment, repair costs, environmental damage or safety.”
He said last year Precision Polymer invested in a rubber laboratory, engineering department and increased sales and marketing presence at its Houston facility. The investment was geared toward supporting the local oil and gas market in Texas. The firm would not release a specific investment figure, but Jagels said it was in the millions. Manufacturing capacity was not increased.