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Research Papers: Oil/Gas Reservoirs

Comparison of Leakage Characteristics of Viton and Polytetrafluoroethylene Seals in Gas-Lift Valve Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Bodhayan Dev

Seals Laboratory,
Mechanical Systems Organization,
General Electric Research Center,
1 Research Circle,
Niskayuna, NY 12309
e-mail: Bodhayan.dev@ge.com

Omprakash Samudrala

Seals Laboratory,
Mechanical Systems Organization,
General Electric Research Center,
1 Research Circle,
Niskayuna, NY 12309
e-mail: samudral@research.ge.com

Jifeng Wang

Seals Laboratory,
Mechanical Systems Organization,
General Electric Research Center,
1 Research Circle,
Niskayuna, NY 12309
e-mail: Jifeng.Wang@ge.com

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received May 2, 2016; final manuscript received August 3, 2016; published online September 15, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Egidio Marotta.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(1), 012906 (Sep 15, 2016) (14 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1202; doi: 10.1115/1.4034512 History: Received May 02, 2016; Revised August 03, 2016

The present research article focuses on comparing the leakage characteristics of Viton and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) seals used in enhanced oil-recovery system. The objective of the study is also to validate if each sealing material met the stringent gas leakage requirements of less than 2 SCCM as required by several enhanced oil recovery systems. The present effort mainly deals with the gas-lift valve barrier check valve applications. The article describes the development of a high-pressure (HP) test rig for measuring the performance of seals in barrier check valves. The rig is capable of measuring valve leakage at pressures up to 10,000 psi with either gases or liquids. A boost pump is employed for achieving pressures greater than 2000 psi (typical nitrogen bottle pressure). Rig validation tests were conducted on a check valve that is part of an injection-pressure-operated (IPO) gas lift valve. A test chamber was fabricated to contain the check valve and was mounted inside the enclosure to evaluate the performance of each sealing material and validate the rig capabilities using water and nitrogen as the working fluid. Finite-element analysis (FEA) on each sealing composition under 100 and 10,000 psi were performed to determine contact pressures and identify appropriate contact pairs at each pressure differentials. It is observed that a brand new PTFE seal never seals efficiently unless it is subjected to a pressure sweep. Viton seals appeared to be insensitive to the pressure sweep as it effectively sealed for the entire pressure range.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic representation of the test chamber for the test rig

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Fig. 2

P&ID diagrams for the HP leak test setup

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Fig. 3

P&ID diagrams for the LP leak test setup

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Fig. 4

Top-view of the test components inside the enclosure

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Fig. 5

Schematic representations of two end caps on each end of the test chamber

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Fig. 6

Schematic representations of the cross section of test chamber and the leak test end cap

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Fig. 7

(a) Boundary conditions applied internal pressure and (b) representation of the meshing used in the model

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Fig. 8

Equivalent stress and strain distribution in the test chamber

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Fig. 9

Maximum principal stress and strain distribution in the chamber

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Fig. 10

Mesh convergence study for maximum principal stresses

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Fig. 11

Radial and axial deformation in the chamber

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Fig. 12

Schematic of the retention scheme for fastening the test chamber on the rig-table

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Fig. 13

Stress versus strain curves for PTFE at room temperature

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Fig. 14

Stress versus strain curves for Viton at room temperature

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Fig. 15

Schematic of the axisymmetric boundary conditions in FEA

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Fig. 21

Three-dimensional-surface scan on Viton along with the average and rms surface roughness estimates

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Fig. 20

Three-dimensional-surface scan on seal retainer along with the average and rms surface roughness estimates

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Fig. 19

Three-dimensional-surface scan on check dart along with the average and rms surface roughness estimates

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Fig. 18

Contact pressure between (a) PTFE and check-dart and (b) Viton and check-dart under 10,000 psi gas pressures

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Fig. 17

Contact pressure between (a) PTFE and check-dart and (b) Viton and check-dart under 100 psi gas pressures

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Fig. 16

Convergence criteria for performing quasi-static analysis in abaqus, dynamic explicit

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Fig. 28

Comparison of pressure distributions and leak rates in a brand new Viton seal under (a) 100 and (b) 500 psi

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Fig. 27

Comparison of pressure variation and leak rate in PTFE seal at 7500 psi

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Fig. 26

Pressure sweep test #2 on PTFE seal with pressure variations from 0 to 800 psi

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Fig. 25

Comparison of leak rates in PTFE seal under (a) 100 and (b) 500 psi after the pressure sweep test#1

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Fig. 24

Pressure sweep test #1 on PTFE seal with pressure variations from 0 to 800 psi

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Fig. 23

Comparison of pressure distributions and leak rates in a brand new PTFE seal under (a) 100 and (b) 500 psi

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Fig. 22

Three-dimensional-surface scan on PTFE along with the average and rms surface roughness estimates

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Fig. 29

Pressure sweep test #1 on Viton seal with pressure variations from 0 to 1000 psi

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Fig. 30

Comparison of pressure variation and leak rate in Viton seal at 7500 psi

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Fig. 31

Comparison of pressure decays in Viton seal at (a) 100, (b) 500, and (c) 1000 psi

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Fig. 32

Comparison of pressure decays in PTFE seal at (a) 100, (b) 500, and (c) 1000 psi

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