FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Trelleborg Sealing Solutions recently has made major inroads in the oil and gas market, especially in the development of low compression set elastomer seals that can withstand hotter temperatures and higher pressure.
A business unit of Trelleborg A.B., the firm recently determined the need for new and better seals with longer lifetimes of service in harsh environments within the oil and gas sector, principally because many of the materials currently being used were being pushed to and beyond their limits.
That set the company on a course to develop more elastomers with an improved compression set in order to extend the seals' performance capabilities in the applications.
"New ingredients are always coming onto the market—such as curing agents, accelerators, antioxidants—and our material development is continuous," said Andrew Longdon, technical manager for Soihull, England-based Trelleborg Sealing Solutions U.K.
Trelleborg operates in a variety of market segments, he said, and it works hard to understand in which directions they are moving "to ensure we develop materials that our customers will find most advantageous to their equipment and processes."
Longdon said the company's new formulations are needed to assist operators in getting the maximum performance out of their machinery to gain greater yield and profitability in the oil and gas market.
By expanding the capabilities of the seal materials and seals themselves, the company hopes to help its customers in producing equipment with market leading capabilities,
Compression set is a key parameter for elastomer seals, according to Longdon. It essentially defines how much internal force remains inside the elastomer—or, putting it another way, how much stress in the compressed materials relaxes over time, he said.