For the Oil & Gas sector, Rapid Gas Decompression Testing (RGD) has been a misunderstood phenomenon - until now.  

Caused by corrosive hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide gases, rapid gas decompression causes deterioration and failures of elastomeric components, putting valuable equipment and resources at risk. Because of their constant pressure fluctuations, seals are most vulnerable to RGD. When they are compressed, gases seep into the interior of the seal, where they remain until pressure is released. When this happens, the gas is forced to escape through the most readily available channel, often resulting in ruptures and failures of seals and other components.  

RGD Testing using Hydrogen Sulfide

Previously, rapid gas decompression testing had only been performed using carbon dioxide gas. While these are valuable results to have, Element has developed a procedure for testing o-rings with Hydrogen Sulfide (H₂S), a highly corrosive gas that provides a more accurate simulation of real-world conditions. This procedure subjects seals to both H₂S and a control (non-sour) gas to evaluate how sour gases affect the rate of rapid gas decompression.  

The test is conducted by applying cyclic pressure inside a pressure vessel at HT/HP conditions, using different gas concentrations. The cycle length is varied during the test, with predetermined dwell and vent periods. By performing these tests, Element is contributing to the advancement of global research & development in the oil and gas sector, and helping manufacturers and users of elastomer materials better understand the behavior of these materials.  

This is a new and innovative method, allowing the sector access to rapid gas decompression testing in sour environments for the first time. For more information about this test, and to request a quote for this new service, speak to an expert today. 

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Whitepaper: RGD Tests Using Hydrogen Sulfide

Element's research in the oil and gas industry has resulted in a groundbreaking new method for testing rapid gas decompression. Using hydrogen sulfide, we can now test seals and polymer components in a realistic test environment for the first time, providing better results and more insight than ever before. 

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