New HPHT rotatable electrical connectors to safeguard valuable sensors in drilling equipment

VICTREX™ PEEK polymers specified by Rampart for new HPHT rotatable electrical connector for oilfield drilling equipment © Rampart

Rampart Products partnered with Victrex Houston team to develop new pressure-rated rotatable connector sets based on VICTREX™ PEEK polymers tested in real-world drill environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rugged environment electrical connector specialist Rampart Products has specified a Victrex polymer blend for a new HPHT (high pressure-high temperature) rotatable electrical connector for reliable transmission of power and data used in oilfield drilling equipment. During material selection and the development of the molding process, Rampart worked closely together with PEEK polymer pioneer Victrex. At the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2018, Victrex will showcase long-lasting components that can contribute to help the oil and gas industry reduce downtime and risk. Ahead of OTC Victrex has also invested in additional resources in the US to support its focus on the Energy industry.

In the run-up to the largest global event for the oil and gas sector, the OTC 2018, April 30 to May 3, James Simmonite, Director Energy at Victrex, said: “Our experience with Rampart is an excellent example of how together we can translate growing engineering requirements into long-lasting components that help reduce downtime and risk of failures due to electrical leakage. We have recently invested in dedicated technical and commercial resources in the Houston area to better serve our Energy customers to support application development efforts, ranging from feasibility assessment to technical qualification to commercialization stages of projects.”

“Customers using rotatable connectors without a pressure bulkhead risk flooding expensive sensor and electronics packages,” explains Ed Beshoory, President of Rampart Products. “We are already using other high performing materials supplied by Victrex, so working with Victrex to develop a polymer blend with the needed properties, was a natural selection when developing the rotatable connector. Rampart relied on Victrex for support and processing direction early in the development phase, allowing us to shorten our time to market and recognize revenue more quickly.”

In addition to HPHT, requirements include making the assembly less prone to breakage, compatibility with the industry-standard envelope, while maintaining a competitive sales price. Beshoory adds: “To demonstrate the reliability of the rotatable connector made with Victrex material, we partnered with an existing customer and tested in a real-world drilling environment in our customer’s tool. This approach allowed us to test the performance at high temperature and high pressure simultaneously while under extreme shock/vibration conditions.”

Traditionally, a machined and assembled design containing wire and solder joints are used in the rotatable connector market. This approach can result in a structurally weak system with poor shock and vibration resistance. The custom VICTREX PEEK blend-based Rampart Products´ male rotatable connector is a completely molded unitized solution that is structurally much stronger, has no internal wire or solder joints to fail under shock or vibration and fewer components. An added benefit is the unitized all-molded design creates a high pressure, integrated bulkhead. The female rotatable connector has a semi-unitized body, also eliminating wire while allowing for Rampart to mould a high-pressure seal where the connector shoulders, while incorporating a machined/assembled solution for ease of assembly.

Rampart´s new rotatable connector was designed for temperatures of 400°F (200°C) and pressures at 20,000+ psi (1380 bar) providing a reliable electrical connection while protecting expensive sensors and electronics.

Victrex has more than 35 years of knowledge in developing and applying novel PEEK polymer based solutions. Full traceability, testing beyond standards and more than 50 quality tests per batch enable performance in the harshest operating conditions. Today, e.g. more than 75 million seals are in use; PEEK based composite solutions for use in energy are also gaining momentum.

Victrex at OTC 2018
At OTC, Victrex is showcasing a range of its PEEK based solutions for use in demanding applications from the upstream to downstream oil & gas markets at booth 505.

Further information on Rampart Products:  http://www.rampartproducts.com/
Victrex solutions for the oil and gas industry:  https://www.victrex.com/en/energy

Source: https://www.victrex.com/en/news/2018/04/victrex-rampart-otc-2018

 

Rampart Products develops next generation HPHT electrical connector using VICTREX™ PAEK polymer

Electrical Connectors - HST-Seals

Drilling equipment: New robust connector introduced to meet ever higher temperature and pressure environments

Rampart Products develops next generation HPHT electrical connector using VICTREX™ PAEK polymer to reduce downtime and system costs.

Oil and gas electrical connector specialist Rampart Products has specified VICTREX HT™ polymer for a new HPHT (high pressure-high temperature) KTK (Kintec*) electrical connector for the efficient and safe transmission of power and data during the drilling process. Used in oilfield equipment, the reliability of the multi-pin connector is crucial to reducing costly downtime. The material as well as the connector has been tested beyond industry standards in real-world environment simulations. During material selection and the development of the molding process, both companies worked closely together, enabling Rampart to introduce its first connector using VICTREX PAEK polymer.

As oil reserves continue to be depleted, the industry is being forced to find oil in unconventional places that can expose equipment and components to higher temperatures and pressures as well as aggressive corrosive elements.

“Customers using epoxy connectors face a couple of potential issues,” explains Ed Beshoory, President of Rampart Products. “Consequently, we were looking into high performing materials capable of meeting multiple requirements. As a result, we are now using for the first time a Victrex material, VICTREX HT polymer, due to its consistent properties and processing. The education and processing support Victrex provided in the development phase have convinced us at Rampart to also look at other Victrex high performing polymers for future applications, enabling us to offer connectors with the performance properties we are looking for.”

Growing engineering requirements
The new connector had to be rated for temperatures beyond 400°F (200°C) and pressures at 20,000 psi (1380 bar) providing also a reliable electrical connection while protecting expensive sensors and electronics. Additional requirements included compatibility with industry-standard pin patterns, extended mating cycles and assembly efficiencies. To prove the reliability of the multi-pin connector made with the Victrex material, Rampart gained data from using a new test vessel. It allows real-world operational settings to test the performance at both high temperature and high pressure simultaneously in a precise manner. Alternative evaluation strategies might typically be to test the connector at an appropriate temperature but at minimal pressure, or at high pressure and room temperature.

Going beyond standard testing protocols, such as NORSOK and ISO, is familiar to Victrex. In doing so the company is supporting the industry to better understand how VICTREX PAEK materials operate in harsh environments. “Victrex typically tests polymers for longer, that is for more hours, and in real-world condition simulations such as higher temperatures and more aggressive chemical environments than those prescribed by the test protocols,” says Dr Geoff Small, Energy Market Technology Manager at Victrex. “This provides a better prediction of how the polymer will perform in various conditions to contribute to the development of reliable applications.”

Reducing downtime and system costs
Traditionally, glass-reinforced epoxy (thermoset) was used in the KTK electrical connector market. However, using this material can result in cracking and chipping, requiring oil service companies to replace the connectors. Rampart Products reported that the VICTREX HT-based connector has more than twice the impact resistance of the glass-reinforced epoxy constructed connectors which provides greater reliability in use by reducing cracking and chipping. Connectors made from Victrex´s high performing polymer can provide more stability in the drilling process by enabling the reliable transmission of power and data to the tool, compared to incumbent solutions. In addition, the vibrations within the tool can cause dust to be generated from the epoxy connectors which may cause electrical shortages and costly downtime.

“In addition to finding the right material, an equally important key benefit for the industry is efficient manufacturing. The VICTREX HT polymer facilitated that through rapid injection molding. “Victrex provides expert assistance with molding their materials, thus reducing development cycle time and allowing us to further push the performance envelope,” concludes Ed Beshoory, President of Rampart Products. Beyond the upstream drilling market segment, Rampart believes their line of electrical connectors can be used in subsea environments, medical devices and in military applications.

Oilfield drilling equipment, particularly MWD (Measure While Drilling) tensor systems, typically require 7-14 KTK connectors. The electrical connectors made from the Victrex material can also be used in LWD (Logging While Drilling) tools, and downhole battery pack assemblies.

VICTREX HT polymers were designed to maintain excellent mechanical properties at elevated temperatures, pressures and in harsh chemicals and provide an overall performance profile beyond that of VICTREX 450G™ PEEK polymer, a high-performance polymer frequently used throughout the industry.

Further information on Rampart Products: http://www.rampartproducts.com/
Victrex solutions for the Oil and gas industry:  https://www.victrex.com/en/energy

* KTK stands for Kintec. The split-interface design was originally designed in 1992 by James Wagaman, Chief Engineer at Kintec, Inc. and manufactured for Tensor, Inc. – http://www.wetechnologies.com/products/hp-ht-downhole/

** PAEK, Polyaryletherketone, a family of high-performance thermoplastics, such as VICTREXTM PEEK
Supporting information for performance claims in this press release is available on individual request from Victrex.

Source: https://www.victrex.com/en/news/2016/12/new-rampart-robust-connector

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