AT OTC 2018: New HPHT rotatable electrical connectors to safeguard valuable sensors in drilling equipment

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 moulding 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.

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

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 moulded 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-moulded 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:
Victrex solutions for the oil and gas industry:

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