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Advances in metal-to-metal technology

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On-going development at James Walker Moorflex in manufacturing metal-to-metal seals and components for oilfield equipment has expanded the company's advanced capabilities in the CNC manufacture of annular products, typically incorporating complex sealing profiles and precise sections up to 2.3m diameter.

Precise annular rings incorporating radial and tangential drilling, slotting and threaded parts from 10mm to 2300mm diameter can also be supplied following the addition of CNC vertical machining and drilling facilities to the company's turning equipment. Special thin wall machining capability has also been developed.

Machine tool and holding mechanisms developed by James Walker Moorflex prevent crushing and allow tight tolerances and absolute concentricity in its manufacture of annular thin walled metal seals, predominantly in Incoloy 825, Inconel 600, 625 and 718 high nickel alloys. Finishing, testing and heat treatment processes are also available, and manufacturing is to API standards.

James Walker Moorflex supplies the components to sister company James Walker & Co, which has developed a unique expertise in combining high performance elastomer sealing and metal-to-metal sealing technology to produce advanced oilfield sealing products for equipment such as wellheads, chokes and valves. Further products have also been developed to handle the most demanding surface and subsea environments.

Metal end cap components

James Walker Moorflex is also producing components for use in metal end cap seals, which have complex profiles requiring specific surface finishes and close dimensional accuracy manufactured from difficult to machine materials.

Solution-annealed and stress relieved in stainless steel 316 or Inconel 600, they are machined from special thin-walled billets. Pairs of machined rings are fully mould-bonded to high performance elastomers at temperatures exceeding the maximum seal service level of +177°C.

The one-piece moulded products are used as the primary seal in casing and tubing spools on wellhead equipment. Suitable for service with hydrocarbons, sour gas, explosive decompression and injection fluids, the seals operate at down to -29°C and at up to 1035bar.

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