Failure Analysis Case History No. 010


Industry: Oil & Gas
Specimen Description: Elastomer Ram Body Seal in a Blow Out Preventer
Material: Viton® fluorestomer (FKM)
Environment: Oil Well Workover Fluids
Background:
A portable blow out preventer used when servicing oil and gas wells failed due to loss of a ram body seal.
Time in Service: Months
Findings:
The ram body rear seal failed due to blistering from explosive decompression, thought to have occurred when pressure in the blow out preventer (BOP) was released rapidly. Examination of the interior of a blister showed that rupture of the elastomer occurred at two initiation sites due to pressure buildup at voids in the material.

Viton® is a registered trademark of DuPont Performance Elastomers.

 

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