As a leading global supplier of polymer-based critical sealing solutions, Trelleborg was asked to create a seal that would work inside a pioneering new product which was developed by Subsea Technologies Ltd. (STL).
The two inch Hydraulically Retractable Subsea Coupler assists in creating the XR Connector’s unequalled high-angle release capability which has no maximum riser angle limit. It was designed to deliver radically improved vessel safety, reduce environmental risk and decrease costs by greatly boosting a vessel’s operating window.
STL had previously developed small bore retractable couplers, used as sub-components in its unique XR Connector, however, scaling up to a large two inch bore to allow for choke and kill lines passing through the XR Connector, posed a number of major challenges. In order for the full potential and functionality of the two-inch coupler to work, it needed a seal to be developed that would work in harmony with the coupler, the world’s first of that size with a hydraulically retractable element.
Trelleborg immediately set about overcoming the issue and developed custom versions of its Turcon® Captive Glyd Ring® with XploR™ V9T82 elastomer material and Turcon® Stepseal® 2A CR with PEEK corner reinforcement rings. The Stepseal® 2A CR is the new standard corner reinforced rod/piston seal for single-acting use and has many advantages, such as its anti-tilt design and that the dimensions of the seal body and CR-Ring which can be modified to facilitate installation. The coupler is fully Lloyds design verified and qualified to 3,000 m (10,000 ft.) water depth, rated to 10,000 psi hydraulic bore pressure and up to 5,000 psi hydraulic function pressure.