Our Unique Design Philosophy Helps Us Tackle Sealing Technology Challenges

Published: 01/01/2016

Schlumberger Oilfield Services

Sealing technology is at the core of all pressure and flow control technology. Engineered seal designs and materials are vital to the integrity and functionality of much of the equipment used in our industry, including BOPs, surface and subsea wellheads and trees, tubing hangers, subsea manifolds, valve bodies, seats and stem packings, and more.

The unique Cameron design philosophy and our engineering and research expertise help address new sealing challenges as the industry moves into deeper, harsher, and more corrosive environments with higher pressures and temperatures. For example, our wellhead seals must isolate increasingly higher-pressure zones and seals in valves and chokes used in hydraulic fracturing must maintain integrity in the now standard high-intensity operations.

A unique sealing design philosophy and experience base

Cameron leverages experience with elastomer compounds and metal seal design, as well as ongoing R&D across all Schlumberger, to develop robust, technologically advanced seals in dedicated facilities worldwide, including the US, UK, and Singapore.

Our design philosophy relies on five key elements.

  • Design standards: We have built a toolbox of design tools based on the knowledge gained through an extensive history of testing seals and seal materials.
  • Research: Our test history is well documented, and this knowledge of seals and seal material testing is drawn upon to ensure we continue to raise the bar on our sealing performance.
  • Mathematical models: We leverage our mathematical models to extend our sealing capabilities to new frontiers. Once the new seals are tested, the data are fed back into the models to continuously improve future analysis.
  • Seal optimization: By evaluating seal design parameters as they pertain to different environments to which the seals are exposed, we optimize our seals to perform at the highest level for each application.
  • Design of test: In addition to seal qualification testing, we perform tests to evaluate performance differences in seals and seal materials based on changes in design parameters and to find the operating limits of our seals. Most of our seals for surface applications meet or exceed API Spec 6A Annex F standards.
Overview: Sealing Technology
Elastomeric, plastic, and metallic materials.

Sealing technology types

Cameron produces a wide range of equipment to control, measure, direct, and process pressures and flows during drilling operations, oil and gas production, and other intermediate and related processes.

Elastomers are used in a number of different types of seals, including O-rings, S seals, P seals, metal end cap (MEC) seals, ram packers, and annular packers. Elastomers are suitable for a wide range of process conditions and are compatible with most oil and gas process fluids. They work by being squeezed between two sealing surfaces, forming a barrier for the isolated fluid.

The elastic properties of elastomers allow them to remain effective in applications where the environment is changing or when the sealing surface is damaged, and they are often used as a primary seal or as a backup to a mechanical seal.

Mechanical seals such as Cameron SRL and CANH seals are used in the most severe applications. These seals rely on mechanical interference of metal components and are suitable for a wide range of temperatures and pressures. They are typically set hydraulically with field tooling.

A global effort

Sealing technology is foundational to Cameron industry-leading equipment. As the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), we can design seals to the exact specifications of our systems, thus ensuring a higher-quality, more reliable, and repeatable seal.

Specialized technical staff worldwide help to address local and global sealing technology requirements. Our engineers and scientists use state-of-the-art equipment to develop world-class compounds. New seal designs are evaluated on Cameron equipment at extreme pressures and temperatures in our test facilities. In addition, collaboration across all Schlumberger leverages the field experience of the largest service organization in the industry, enables highly effective joint technology projects with customers, and prioritizes research and engineering efforts.

Products Used