Proprietary Resilon® Polyurethane Raises the Bar for Seal Durability in Frac Pumps
Challenges abound for oil and gas companies during drilling and well completion operations. Drilling mud and frac fluids are some of the harshest and most destructive media to be sealed. It takes tough, rugged sealing components to last long run-time hours and continuously move high volumes of abrasive frac fluid that cause wear and tear on parts. And thermoplastic polyurethanes are raising the bar for performance expectations and proving out as preferred sealing materials.
Polyurethane has been an industry standard for dynamic sealing in hydraulic applications for more than 30 years. But polyurethane materials are not all formulated from the same hard- and soft-segment chemistry. The specific diisocyanate and chain extenders used in the synthesis of a polyurethane affect its physical and mechanical properties. When looking to achieve the best performance with mud and frac pumps, Parker’s Resilon® polyurethane is recommended. Our proprietary PPDI (p-phenylene diisocyanate) TPU formulation is specifically suited for injection molding of both large and small articles while retaining superior high-temperature performance.
The characteristics common to Resilon formulations make this PPDI class of material a leading choice for high pressure, dynamic sealing applications. These characteristics include exceptional:
- Wear resistance
- Thermal stability
- Hydrolytic stability
- High bond strength
- Compression set resistance
Where to Use Resilon
Resilon polyurethane can be used with high effectiveness in many areas on mud and fracking pumps. The advantages are evident in each area.
Pony Rod Seals. Eliminate hydraulic fluid leakage and simplify installation by replacing standard two-piece seals with the single-piece design made from Resilon 4300. With its high contact force sealing lip design, coupled with compression-set resistant Resilon seal material, this patent-protected pony rod seal design retains lubricating oil in the power end, eliminating necessity of shut down to replenish lost hydraulic fluid. When maintenance and change over is called for, pony rod seal installation is much simpler. The integrated, single component oil seal/rod wiper can be secured via press fit so there’s no need for snap rings or retaining plates.
"Our sales team members receive inquiries from well completion operators who are frustrated when they are interrupted and have to shut down to replenish gallons of hydraulic fluid lost from leaking seals. These operators and their service technicians who are in the field doing the change-overs make it known they 'want the the tan colored pony rod seal,' referring to Parker's recognizable tan-colored Resilon 4300 formulation. Some operators are so pleased with the performance of the Parker pony rod seal they are demanding that the mud pump manufacturers install it as a condition to deploy their pumps on the job site."
Dana Severson, oil and gas market sales manager for Parker's Engineered Materials Group
Suction and Discharge Cover Seals. Our HGP Profile suction and discharge cover seals provide four times the reliable service life compared to traditional elastomer D-rings. Owing to its combination of unique geometry and Resilon 4300 polyurethane material, the HGP Profile resists wear due to the abrasive fluid proppant, high pressure and vibrating motion generated by high frequency pulsating pressurization. The tough, rugged material improves sealing reliability and minimizes degradation of fluid end mating hardware.
Fluid End Valve Seats. Valves take a beating from repeated cycling in highly abrasive drilling fluids and aggressive fracking fluids. But valves made with our unique geometry and Resilon polyurethane have shown to extend valve life by over 50 percent. Resilon valves reduce material failure caused by hysteresis and the optimized geometry increases service life and reliability of the valve seal. These can be formulated in both bonded and snap-in configurations.
Mud Pistons. Our design expertise in piston sealing applications has resulted in piston cups that outlast the competition, reducing costly downtime and eliminating leaks. Resilon polyurethane piston seals are long wearing and outperform traditional urethanes in hot water. Enhanced resilience/rebound characteristics allow the sealing lips of the mud piston to conform to the seal interface – maintaining consistent critical sealing lip contact under rapid cycling conditions, plus reduce frictional heating. In addition, Resilon formulations are compatible with oil and water-base drilling muds.
Well Service Packings. For positive displacement pumps, the materials used in our well service and vee-ring packings have exceptional compressive force resistance to manage side loading yet remain pliable enough for sealing. The material range includes Resilon polyurethanes to aramid fabric reinforced HNBR/FKM. Resilon is compatible with a wide range of hydraulic fracturing fluids.
Resilon® Material Formulations Help Overcome Oil & Gas Completion Challenges
With well conditions becoming increasingly challenging and taking a toll on equipment and expendables, you require sealing products that will enable you to achieve greater production efficiencies, improve performance and reduce down time. Whether you service frac pumps, run completion operations, or build frac pump equipment, Parker’s proprietary Resilon materials can improve your bottom line by:
- Reducing frequency of component replacement (MTTM)
- Reducing cost for maintenance since less maintenance and fewer replacement parts are needed
- Providing better compatibility in water application
- Ensuring rugged, resilient sealing force
Learn more about Resilon® and watch Parker’s video on temperature/pressure challenges and sealing requirements for Oil & Gas.
This blog post was contributed to by Shannon Johnson, marketing communications for Parker Engineered Polymer Systems Division.
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