What is an explosive decompression resistant seal?

Explosive decompression resistant seals, also known as ED Resistant, RGD or AED (anti-explosive decompression) seals, offer unrivalled performance and protection in rapid pressure loss applications typically associated with the oil and gas industry. In this article, TRP Polymer Solutions gives you our complete guide to the features, benefits and varieties of explosive resistant ‘O’ rings available on the market today. Read on to find out more.

What is explosive decompression?

Explosive decompression, also known as Rapid Gas Decompression or RGD, is a failure mechanism of elastomer seals and ‘O’ rings. Explosive Decompression is caused by a rapid loss of pressure in a gaseous media.

With such an extreme release of pressure, any gas that has permeated into the seal is likely to expand at a violent rate. This causes fissures, cracks and pits to form that can ultimately lead to the total failure of the seal.

Where are explosive decompression resistant seals used?

Explosive decompression resistant seals and ‘O’ rings are typically used in high pressure applications within the oil and gas industry. A wide range of explosive resistant ‘O’ ring materials are now available, offering high-pressure, high-temperature and rapid gas decompression resistance.

Applications prone to explosive decompression can sometimes benefit from using a smaller cross section ‘O’ ring (5.33mm for instance) because these are less subject to explosive decompression issues than large varieties.

What materials are used for explosive resistant ‘O’ rings?

The most commonly used material for explosive decompression resistant seals is fluoroelastomer (FKM) or Viton®. However, explosive resistant ‘O’ rings are also available in fluoroelastomer derivative Aflas®, perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) and hydrogenated nitrile (HNBR).

Explosive decompression resistant seal materials from TRP

Here at TRP Polymer Solutions, we can offer several high-performance materials that are ideal for the production of explosive decompression resistant seals. These include the following materials:

Fluoroelastomer (FKM)

Our F226 RGD resistant FKM to Norsok M-710 Rev. 2 offers optimal explosive decompression resistance and is certified to the NORSOK M-170 Rev 2 standards. It has excellent physical properties for a hard compound and can seal a wide range of oils, fuels and chlorinated solvents.

Our F229 RGD resistant Aflas® offers excellent resistance to acids, bases, water and amines. This grade of Aflas® is particularly useful for gas and oil stripping.

Perfluoroelastomer (FFKM)

Our TRPlast™ 230Norsok FFKM offers exceptional explosive decompression resistance. Providing excellent chemical and temperature resistance, this FFKM compound also meets the requirements of NORSOK M-710 Rev 2.

Meanwhile, our TRPlast™ 300AED FFKM is a black explosive decompression resistant and chemically inert FFKM that has been formulated to cope with high temperature water and steam applications of up to +300 °C (+572 °F).

Hydrogenated Nitrile (HNBR)

We also produce our HN114 RGD resistant HNBR to Norsok M-710 Rev. 2. This particular grade of hydrogenated nitrile delivers optimal explosive decompression resistance and is certified to NORSOK standards.

It also offers high levels of oil and heat resistance and can be used wherever standard application temperatures are too high for regular nitrile but are not high enough to warrant using fluorocarbon (FKM) rubber.

Contact TRP Polymer Solutions today

If you need explosive decompression resistant seals, make TRP Polymer Solutions your custom moulded rubber manufacturer of choice. To find out more about our high-quality polymer products and manufacturing processes, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, please contact us on +44(0)1432 268899 or sales@trp.co.uk.