Canadian Plastics

Earth: Thermoplastic Drill Component Handles The Pressure

In the hostile environment of deep drilling, it's not unusual to encounter temperatures ranging between 180C and 200C, in the presence of hydrogen sulfide, methane, carbon dioxide, salt water, and crude oil. It goes without saying, then, that...

May 1, 2009   Canadian Plastics



In the hostile environment of deep drilling, it’s not unusual to encounter temperatures ranging between 180C and 200C, in the presence of hydrogen sulfide, methane, carbon dioxide, salt water, and crude oil.

It goes without saying, then, that deep drilling equipment must be capable of operating under the most extreme pressures – often up to 20,300 psi – and have the ability to withstand the most extreme mechanical forces. That’s why, when micro molder CG Tec Injection, of Frasne, France, wanted to completely encapsulate a miniature sensor used in the drilling equipment, it chose Victrex’ high performance thermoplastic PEEK polymer.

The sensor, measuring 100 mm long by 3 mm in diameter, is formed using a two-stage duplicate molding process. With the high rigidity, dimensional stability, and ease of processing of the PEEK material in mind, CG.TEC developed the mold and regulated it at high temperatures to guarantee good crystallinity of the polymer.

“Victrex PEEK polymer offers a good combination of mechanical and tribological properties at the elevated temperatures found in deep drilling operations,” said Robert Navo, global applications manager for oil and gas at Victrex. “Because of its range of high performance characteristics, PEEK polymer is also being used in deep drilling equipment as an insulating and encapsulating material for connector insulators, condenser housings, potentiometers, and coil frames.”

Victrex USA Inc. (West Conshohocken, Pa.): www.victrex.com; 484-342-6001


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