Three Important Seals for Oil Production Engineers
Today’s gas and oil industry is a fast-paced environment where the ability to stay on top of the latest developments is a crucial part of the job. With the wide fluctuations in price for oil we have seen the technology that is used to extrude this resource continue to evolve to meet new and more stringent demands. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the job of the many types of engineers that work on the typical oil rig or out in the extreme weather of land based refineries for gas and oil.
As we continue to develop new and improved tools to work in this harsh and unforgiving environment, engineers need to know what to expect when they walk on to each new job. Here is a look at just three of the many types of seals that are used to keep the oil and gas flowing from the ground, through the refineries, along delivery pipelines and into our homes and businesses to provide heat, fuel for transportation and keep the dangers of a rapidly changing world at bay.
Oil and Gas Rotary Seals
This is a general catch all that covers a wide range of seals, all of which help the oil and gas industry to maintain control on moving parts. Some of the rotary seals, such as face seals, are used in both automotive manufacturing and in the installation of swimming pools to ensure that the pumps in these environments continue to run without a hitch for hours on end.
Another type of rotary seal, one that is often used in oil and gas refineries are used to moderate the pressure that is a constant problem as it fluctuates within the refinery workings. Both of these are simple examples of the many applications that a rotary seal can have across a wide variety of industries including the gas and oil industry.
These common sealing elements are often used to seal in the rotary units of pumps and other small devices to exclude any contaminants from entering the motor. Because dust can be a major problem in many types of environments, these lip seals are often used to eliminate or at least control the amount of dust that most engines are exposed to, that can cause damage or make a motor work poorly.
A good example of this is the small motor inside of a common household washing machine. In order to protect that motor from contamination that could cause it to break down, a lip seal is often placed around the motor to seal it away from the rest of the machine. Small motors that are similar to these abound on oil and gas production lines and use a similar method to improve working standards.
Because of the extreme environments of many oil and gas production facilities, finding just the right seal has been an ongoing quest. Creating the combination of rubber and synthetic products to make a seal that is non-corrosive and yet continues to work day in and day out can be quite a challenge. As time continues to test these many types of seals, the industry will continue to explore both rubber and synthetic seals to find the perfect solution.