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Editor's note: This article appears in the special OTC edition of the E&P newsletter. Subscribe here.

Equipment components used in oil and gas exploration and recovery must tolerate extreme temperatures, pressures, harsh chemicals and volatile weather conditions for uninterrupted production and worker safety. Reinforced fluoropolymers are materials proven to optimize performance and withstand demanding downhole conditions.

Fluon+ products from AGC Chemicals provide value-added material science solutions by creating virtually any enhanced polymer through the addition of reactive functionality, pigments, reinforced fillers, flexibility and more.

Cable jackets utilizing Fluon+ fluoropolymers

Melt processable compounds 

Fluon+ melt processable compounds are reinforced with conductive, strengthening and reinforcing fillers and are ideal for a wide variety of applications including wire and cable coatings; semiconductor and electronic components; valves, fittings and pump housings; and tubing and pipe. AGC uses FEP, ETFE, PFA, PVDF, MFA and ECTFE resins to produce its melt processable compounds, which can be processed using extrusion, injection and compression molding techniques.

These compounds can be formulated for use in wire and cable insulation for motors and windings, generators, transformers, logging and communications instrumentation, and electrical submersible pumps. In addition, they can insulate and protect cables for reliable data transmission and power, resulting in optimized performance of monitoring systems in deepwater oil and gas exploration and recovery. They can also be compounded with fillers that dissipate the electrical charges that accumulate within the cable construction during operation, reducing spark-outs and heat buildup, keeping the cable operable. 

Cable components made with Fluon+ melt processable compounds can withstand depths of 25,000 ft and 15,000 psi, resist abrasion and bending fatigue, have an ultra-smooth outer surface and endure torsion, tension and extreme temperature cycling. The melt processable compounds can also optimize flexibility, so there is less cracking due to spooling and other motions of the cable. 

PTFE compounds 

Fluon+ filled PTFE compounds provide enhanced deformation and creep resistance, thermal conductivity and wear performance over traditional PTFE resins. These engineered fluoropolymer compounds play an important role in oil and gas exploration and recovery because they improve the performance properties of parts and components in severe operating conditions. Fluon+ filled PTFE compounds impart characteristics that are vital for components such as bearings, seals and gaskets used in applications where they need to withstand ongoing heat, pressure and dynamic environments.

By compounding PTFE resins with pigments and fillers, AGC creates low-flow (non-pelletized) and free-flow (pelletized) compounds. Low-flow compounds are manufactured in powder form and are used in applications that demand the highest mechanical strength. Free-flow compounds increase bulk density and mold flow properties, which enables consistent manufacturing of seals, gaskets and rings.

Adhesive grades and modifiers

Made with Fluon ETFE or PFA, these grades are used in applications requiring strong adhesion to polyamide polymers like nylon 12 for applications such as electronics materials, coatings, fuel hoses, multilayer films and linings. They are designed to offer significant chemical and reliable permeation resistance to many fluids and gases, especially in transportation and industrial applications.

Fluon+ modifier grades are used for engineered plastics and continuous fiber-reinforced composites. AGC's fluorinated modifiers are added to plastics, metal and carbon fibers to enhance their performance characteristics.

Flexible compounds

These compounds are made from engineered plastics and fluoroelastomers to provide added flexibility. They are ideal for wire and cable used in motor vehicles, aerospace and appliances as well as for film and sheet, tubing and pipe insulation, and electronic components.

For more information, visit AGC at booth 1711 during the Offshore Technology Conference.