Rapid Gas Decompression (RGD) is a familiar problem in the oil and gas industry and other high pressure gas applications. It has been reported in all types of fluid handling devices, including valves, blow-out preventers.
RGD is commonly known as explosive decompression, an operational condition during which the applied system pressure is quickly released, resulting in the expansion of absorbed gas damaging elastomeric seals. However, the prefix "explosive" can be misleading, since decompression damage can occur even when pressure is let down gradually over many hours.
Where no suitable elastomeric seals are found for a rapid decompression application, due to their limitations in operating pressure, temperature and chemical resistance, then Saint-Gobain OmniSeal® spring-energized PTFE seals should be considered.
Their Fluoroloy® custom formulated blends and alloys including PEEK and Fluoropolymers are classified as plastic, with low resilience and elasticity. Saint-Gobain Fluoroloy® materials do not suffer from rapid decompression damage because of its higher strength (over 100MPa) than elastomers (usually well below 50MPa).
OmniSeal® Spring-Energized Seals
OmniSeal® seals are used in numerous applications where durability, resistance to chemicals and operation at extreme temperature and pressure is crucial.
OmniSeal® seals operate in harsh environments, reduce downtime and equipment service life for:
- Subsea and Topside Valves
- Loading Arms
- Turret Swivels for FPSOs
- Subsea Equipments
- Pumps and Compressors
- Wellhead Equipments
Saint-Gobain is one of the global leaders in high performance polymer solutions focussing on demanding solutions and innovative applications. About 75% of Saint-Gobain's Euro 43.8 billion in sales last year came from business lines more or less associated with the habitat and construction markets. The Group is active in 59 countries.