Norway’s Pipeotech extends its industry-first 10-year gas-tight warranty for its ground-breaking DeltaV-Seal™ gasket all the way down to applications running at -196° C, based on stellar results of cryogenic leakage tests at a pre-eminent European research lab.
Pipeotech launched its metal-to-metal DeltaV-Seal in 2015. Backed by unique DNV GL type certification, DeltaV-Seal immediately set a new gas-tight standard for industrial gaskets, offering the first sealing solution that was proven to stay exceptionally tight over time with zero maintenance or retorquing required. After proving it efficacy in sectors ranging from hydrocarbons to chemicals processing, maritime, pharmaceuticals and food and beverage production, in 2020 Pipeotech launched the sealing industry’s first 10-year gas-tight limited warranty, creating a truly unique value proposition and cementing the claim of being the tightest, safest and most durable flange gasket technology in the world.
Raising the bar
Pipeotech has now blazed a new trail, conducting leakage testing of a bolted flange joint (BFJ) under cryogenic conditions in a laboratory testing programme engineered and carried out together with Wroclaw University of Science and Technology in Poland. The BFJ contained a DN40/PN40 material 316L DeltaV-Seal with a sealing length of 0.2 metres and containing helium pressures from 10 bar to 100 bar.
“To stand a chance of eliminating fugitive emissions, modern cryogenic processes require a new generation of sealing product that can maintain absolute integrity all the way down to -196°C. The data we have seen is conclusive and should promote DeltaV-Seal right to the top of the pile, we’re delighted with the results,” says Pipeotech CEO Henrik Sollie. Seal testing is typically carried out at ambient temperatures. Cryogenic conditions can be defined as anything below -150° C.
The results show that the DeltaV-Seal maintains a tightness level higher than 10-8 mg/s at temperatures down to -196° C at all tested pressures. The seal was also shown to expand and contract at same rate as the temperature fluctuations, confirming in action that extreme temperature fluctuations do not affect the tightness of the seal. “This gave us the confidence to extend our value proposition of 10 years gas-tight performance with no maintenance all the way down to -196° C, which is fantastic news for any industry featuring very low temperature processes,” says Sollie.
Hydrogen is key new market
A major part of gas value chain features cryogenic processes where operating temperatures often approach the temperature of liquid nitrogen (i.e. -196°C). Liquefaction, LNG/LPG shipping and terminals, floating LNG (FLNG) facilities and regasification are consequently one of Pipeotech’s main markets, but the broad spectrum of existing and emerging industries that also use cryogenic processes can also greatly benefit from using the DeltaV Seal. “These industries include production and handling of emerging new green fuels – particularly hydrogen, where there is a lot of activity right now – as well as ammonia and biofuels,” says Sollie.
Comparison to incumbent seals
The status quo in cryogenic processes has been to use old technology that has been extremely prone to leakage, requiring constant maintenance and replacement of gaskets. The Wroclaw lab carried out exactly the same tests under the same cryogenic conditions on 20 to 30 competing high-performance gaskets with graphite or PTFE sealing components. “The results showed that the DeltaV-Seal is more than 10,000 times tighter at 8 bar, which was the highest applied test pressure for these other gaskets. This clearly puts it in a league of its own,” says Sollie.
“The fact that the leakage rate did not significantly change up to a pressure of 100 bar also added to our confidence in extending the 10-year warranty,” he adds.
Optimal safety, efficiency and productivity
The DeltaV-Seal has ushered in a completely new “gasket paradigm”. “Gaskets have for too long been treated as a disposable afterthought, giving rise to the unacceptable phenomenon of ‘acceptable leakage’. The raw performance and ever-expanding value proposition of the DeltaV-Seal, even at extreme temperatures, is challenging that belief, with these excellent results becoming another important landmark in our technology development,” says Sollie.