Sealing Advancements for Rotating Control Devices (OTC-31159-MS)

Kalsi Engineering’s new technical paper, “Sealing Advancements for Rotating Control Devices” (OTC-31159-MS), was presented at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas last month. The authors, A. Richie and L. Dietle, and their team have been developing seal technology targeted at increasing the pressure and speed capacity of self-contained Rotating Control Devices. Through extensive analysis, testing, and innovation they developed a rotary sealing system that approaches the high speed and pressure combinations achieved by sealing systems that include external lubricant pressurization systems.
The paper starts by describing some of the key benefits that an external lubricant pressurization system provides to the rotary sealing system of conventional medium to high pressure RCDs. Then the principal of operation of the new rotary sealing system is described. This description highlights how the benefits of an external lubricant system are preserved in this self-contained RCD sealing arrangement.
The paper also reports on the extensive separate effects testing that was performed on the rotary sealing components. The tests were performed simulating an RCD rotating at up to 200 RPM while operating against a 1,000 psi drilling fluid, and an RCD rotating at 100 RPM while operating against a 1,500 psi drilling fluid. A key test requirement was that the rotary test seals had to reach 100 hours at the test conditions to be considered successful. This was to satisfy the minimum RCD operating duration established in API specification 16RCD.
The conclusion of the rotary sealing system development is that a self-contained RCD sealing system is capable of operating at 1,000 psi and 543 sfpm or 1,500 psi and 275 sfpm. The sealing system is described here.
Contact our engineering staff to discuss how to implement this exciting new rotary sealing arrangement in your RCD product line.

RCD Seal Test Fixture
Kalsi Engineering’s Rotating Control Device (RCD) test fixture used to evaluate 10.5″ diameter RCD seals.