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Composite springs in seals & gaskets

News International-French

31 Aug 2015

Automated Dynamics introduces composite springs in seals & gaskets.

Automated Dynamics designs, manufactures, and implements composite structures worldwide, and works with companies across all industries to solve problems and improve processes. Their composite springs offer advantages over other materials such as metals.

Composite spring will not corrode like steel, will not scratch sealing surface like steel springs during installation, will not mark-off steel surface during service and is ideal for seals inside drillable packer elements – composites drill out easier than steel without nesting in drill bit.

How does this compare to metal springs?

  • Extrusion resistance is comparable to or better than steel springs
  • Springs are about 2/3 as stiff as metal springs
  • Tensile strength of material is 300ksi (~2000 MPa)
  • Given geometry constraints and surrounded by rubber, the spring need not act exactly like steel
  • Spring can be designed with fewer gaps than steel, for improved rubber extrusion control

Is spring difficult to mold?

  • Allows use of a bonding agent, if desired
  • Springs’ gap can range from zero to several times the width of the material
  • Most customers experiment with springs of varying gaps to optimize their molding process

What materials are used? What are design options?

  • Springs are often made from continuous carbon fiber reinforced PEEK composite
  • O-ring cord or PEEK monofilament may be inserted inside spring to prevent collapse during molding
  • Some customers nest springs inside each other, with a metal spring inside a composite spring
  • This allows higher overall stiffness of steel, with scratch-protection of composite on the exterior

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