Stem pack achieves significant reduction in methane leaks
WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 23, 2023 — DuPont™ Vespel® Parts and Shapes, a business within the DuPont Electronics & Industrial segment, today announced that Oliver Valves Ltd., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of Instrumentation, Piping, Subsea and Hydrogen & Carbon Capture and its sister company Oliver Twinsafe Valves, developed a stem pack using DuPont™ Vespel® SP-21 parts for the energy industry. Stem packs are used in industrial valve bodies to form a low friction, pressure-tight seal to prevent leaks. Commonly used in natural gas transfer and other demanding applications, this innovative stem pack using Vespel® advanced polyimide enables a more sustainable solution in mission-critical applications.
With methane emissions as the second-largest cause of global warming today*, immediate and major reductions in methane emissions are necessary for gas to play a supporting role in the energy transition.
The new stem pack provides a solution as purely graphite alternatives fail to meet the MESC 77/300 class B standard even at ambient temperatures, enabling considerable performance enhancements over graphite + PEEK (polyetheretherketone) ones. At 200 ºC, Vespel® allows 40 percent less leakage, while at very high temperatures (350 ºC) it enables 65 times less leakage[1 ] In addition to representing an important improvement over PEEK, Vespel® SP-21 parts with high thermal stability enable the stem pack from Oliver Twinsafe® Valves to:
Reduce leakage by >98% vs. MESC 77/300 class B standard at ambient temperature
Preserve its sealing capability at 350 ºC and at -50 ºC, reducing 90% of leakage vs. acceptable levels
Consistently allow >95% fewer leaks vs. acceptable levels1 in less extreme conditions.
[1 ]Test pressure = 300 Class. Test media = Helium 97% minimum purity. Acceptable leakage rate - 7.12 x 10-5 mbar.l/s.
“Oliver Valves Ltd. and DuPont have achieved a new milestone and may be considered an industry benchmark in reducing methane fugitive emissions,” said Rakesh Nambiar, Global Technical Manager, Vespel®. “If an improvement such as this could be extrapolated to the whole natural gas industry, the 2030 Net Zero Emissions Scenario could become a reality well before this deadline. The unique blend of thermal, mechanical and tribological properties of Vespel® enable the manufacture of valves that can also meet the most stringent sealing requirements such as for hydrogen storage and transportation. This collaboration is essential to our core purpose of using science and innovation to create a sustainable world.”
To learn more about this application and the broad Vespel® parts and shapes portfolio, visit the DuPont website.
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* Source: International Energy Agency (IEA)