April 14, 2020 | 5 minute read
For the last few years, our development team has been focussing its attention on liquid hydrocarbon pipeline seals. Oil remains a dominant fuel and raw material source for transportation (diesel, gasoline) and industry (propane, butane), and the pipeline continues to be the preferred transportation method across large land masses. Utilizing resources found in remote locations requires hundreds of thousands of miles of pipeline, and with the amount of equipment required, it’s easy to imagine the potential for system failure and catastrophe in such a scenario.
Along with a continued reliance on high-pressure pipelines comes an increasing demand for safety and containment.
Meeting the Need for Seal Reliability
It’s no secret that the pumps in oil pipelines, particularly crude oil pipelines, suffer from seal leakage due to the fretting or wearing of the dynamic O-ring. All major seal suppliers have products designed specifically for the challenges of crude oil pipeline services, but since the introduction of our 8648VRS non-pusher-elastomer seal for crude-oil pipeline, we have been able to supply seals that greatly increase seal reliability versus all other solutions.
In late 2019, we introduced the SCB Secondary Containment Bushing to extend the use of the 8648VRS when required to meet stricter environmental planning standards using a Plan 66A piping plan. Plan 66A is a secondary containment piping plan developed for API 682 4th Edition, and its concept has been adopted by several operators as their go-to containment device for crude oil pipelines. Under extensive and exhaustive testing, the SCB containment of oil inside the pump, even at simulated high-pressure failure conditions, exceeded that required by operators. This technology is already being deployed as a compliment to the 8648VRS crude oil pipeline seal.
Of the thousands of miles of hydrocarbon pipelines, crude oil accounts for about 33% of liquids pipeline mileage, with hydrocarbon products (flashing hydrocarbons such propane and butane) and NGLs (non-flashing hydrocarbons such as gasoline and diesel) providing the remainder.
Introducing the 8648VRS and 8628VSC Seals
In 2020, we are proud to introduce our complete range of 8648VRS non-pusher elastomer seals, consisting of two 8648VRS seals for operation on light hydrocarbons and refined products, as well as a secondary containment seal, 8628VSC, for dry run in non-contacting mode during normal operation.
At the core of the 8648VRS and 8628VSC is the unique, no-hang-up technology, that we call the non-pusher secondary seal (NPSS). This design is confirmed to significantly extend reliability in high-pressure crude oil applications where short seal life and excessive leakage were prevalent previously. The unique feature is a fixed elastomeric sealing element that stretches and compresses to take up shaft/axial movement or wear. The sealing faces of the non-pusher seal track each other while in operation, but the secondary seal remains in place. This eliminates the wear or fretting caused by the constant shuttling or movement of the pump.
When managing hundreds of miles of remote, hydrocarbon pipeline, you need components and systems that fully support your operation and maintenance strategy. The John Crane 8648VRS non-pusher pipeline seal and 8628VSC secondary containment seal are designed specifically for trouble-free and secure operation of all liquid hydrocarbon pipelines. Our new pipeline sealing solutions:
- Increase pump reliability by eliminating the common causes of seal failure
- Provide environmental assurance in case of unexpected seal failure
- Use proven results to inform your OPEX/CAPEX decisions
Contact us to discuss how we can reduce your pipeline operating costs, and find out how we have redefined the secondary sealing for high duty conditions.