RR485 - Elastomeric seals for rapid gas decompression applications in high-pressure services
Seal damage and observed gas leaks to atmosphere caused by Rapid Gas Decompression (also known as Explosive Decompression) in elastomeric seals have been reported in many types of equipment in the oil and gas industry. These failures have had costly financial, safety and environmental implications for the operators and equipment suppliers. The aim of this document is to:
- provide designers, specifying engineers and operational managers with a systematic approach towards the prevention of decompression damage in elastomeric seals;
- provide technical purchasing managers with advice on functional specifications for equipment and materials;
- advise the oil and gas industry on methods and procedures available to protect against decompression damage;
- make production engineers aware of operating scenarios where damage may have occurred even though its effects are hidden; and
- widen the knowledge and understanding of rapid gas decompression and raise awareness in the industry in general.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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