Gasket Filler Innovation Overcomes Corrosion Challenges for Offshore Industry
Flexitallic, the global leader in sealing solutions, recently showcased its latest innovation to support operations in the offshore industry at Offshore Europe exhibition – its ground-breaking gasket filler material Corriculite®.
Created for use in corrosion-sensitive applications, Corriculite®, tackles the issue of flange face corrosion on bolted connections. The material ensures that seals maintain maximum integrity by preventing galvanic corrosion. In critical situations Corriculite® delivered a leakage rate of zero during API 6FB Fire Safety tests. Corriculite® seals 500 times tighter than traditional Graphite sealing materials supporting off shore operator’s commitments to reducing fugitive emissions.
In response to customer demands for an improved material with strong anti-corrosion characteristics, Flexitallic created the filler material for a range of spiral wound gaskets, specifically designed for use in corrosion-sensitive environments in industries such as oil and gas, power and marine.
Traditionally, most of the sealing materials used in the oil and gas sector utilise flexible graphite, which has a high electrochemical potential that can corrode metal used in the piping system.
This can lead to premature failure and leakage. The only way to minimise occurrence of corrosion is to match the metallic component and use an inert sealing material.
Flange face corrosion is very difficult to identify once the bolted joint is closed and the gasket is in place. Often leaks are the only symptom of flange face corrosion. All metals, even those that are classified as corrosion resistant, can be susceptible to corrosion.
Offshore operators have previously been unable to resolve this issue as most current static sealing technologies used on piping or pressure vessels fail to offer suitable protection against flange face corrosion, whilst offering high sealing performance and reliability at a cost-effective price point.
Corriculite® overcomes this issue as it is an inert, non-conductive filler material that remains inactive in corrosive mechanisms and joints. Through rigorous and robust testing, Corriculite® is proven to outperform graphite, demonstrating a pressure loss of only one percent, compared to 17 percent in an equivalent graphite gasket.
Corriculite® represents Flexitallic’s continual development of new sealing technologies, which includes innovations such as Change™, Thermiculite® and the invention of the original spiral wound gasket in 1912.
Among Flexitallic’s other technology solutions applied to the Oil & Gas industry is the Flange Rescue Gasket (FRG). The unique FRG revolutionised the industry as the first-ever solution to seal damaged flanges without the need for replacement or machining. The gasket limits the amount of initial corrosion and vastly reduces the lengthy and costly processes involved, which are carried out in extreme environments.