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Trelleborg Sealing Solutions helps develop revolutionary subsea product

01st October 2017

Trelleborg was asked to create a seal that would work inside a pioneering new product which was developed by Subsea Technologies Ltd (STL). The two inch Hydraulically Retractable Subsea Coupler assists in creating the XR Connector’s unequalled highangle release capability which has no maximum riser angle limit

Trelleborg was asked to create a seal that would work inside a pioneering new product which was developed by Subsea Technologies Ltd (STL). The two inch Hydraulically Retractable Subsea Coupler assists in creating the XR Connector’s unequalled highangle release capability which has no maximum riser angle limit. It was designed to deliver radically improved vessel safety, reduce environmental risk and decrease costs by greatly boosting a vessel’s operating window.

STL had previously developed small bore retractable couplers, used as sub-components in its unique XR Connector, however, scaling up to a large two inch bore to allow for choke and kill lines passing through the XR Connector posed several major challenges. 

For the full potential and functionality of the two-inch coupler to work, it needed a seal to be developed that would work in harmony with the coupler, the world’s first of that size with a hydraulically retractable element.

Trelleborg set about overcoming the issue and developed custom versions of its Turcon Captive Glyd Ring with XploR V9T82 elastomer material and Turcon Stepseal 2A CR with PEEK corner reinforcement rings. The Stepseal 2A CR is the new standard corner reinforced rod/piston seal for single-acting use and has many advantages, such as its anti-tilt design and that the dimensions of the seal body and CR-Ring which can be modified to facilitate installation.

“Throughout the process we constantly had to think about the safety issues and challenges that are frequently faced when working with heavy duty engagement of subsea equipment,” Andrew Longdon, technical manager for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in the UK, said. “We worked with STL as the team conducted a very lengthy test programme including a full PR-2 temperature and pressure cycling programme along with endurance cycle testing on the products in accordance with the ISO 10423 standard.

“STL also conducted two disconnects with 10,000 psi bore pressure. This was all completed with one set of seals which I think is some achievement.”

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