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Extrusion, slide, and rupture of an elastomeric seal

Elastomeric seals are essential to two great technological advances in oilfields:  horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.  This paper describes a method to study elastomeric seals by using the pressure-extrusion curve (i.e., the relation between the drop of pressure across a seal and the volume of extrusion of the elastomer).  Emphasis is placed on a common mode of failure found in oilfields:  leak caused by a crack across the length of a long seal.  We obtain an analytical solution of large elastic deformation, which is analogous to the Poiseuille flow of viscous liquids.  We further obtain analytical expressions for the energy release rate of a crack and the critical pressure for the onset of its propagation.  The theory predicts the pressure-extrusion curve using material parameters (elastic modulus, sliding stress, and fracture energy) and geometric parameters (thickness, length, and precompression).  We fabricate seals of various parameters in transparent chambers on a desktop, and watch the seals extrude, slide, rupture and leak.  The experimentally measured pressure-extrusion curves agree with theoretical predictions remarkably well.  


It is weird that the equations in the pdf file just show correctly in Chrome. Hope to solve this problem in the near future.

I replaced the pdf file with our proofreading version. It looks OK now. 

zhan-sheng guo's picture

interesting work.

The seal (hydrogel) was glued bottom surface, how did you choose the adhesive?


Hi Zhan-sheng,

Thanks for your interest. We tried tens of gules. The best one we found is Loctite Instant-Bonding Adhesive 409. It's a adhesive gel, which can fill large gap and cures in several minutes. The bonding is very strong. Other superglue cures too fast, so you don't have enough time to align the hydrogel and remove the trapped air in the interface.




zhan-sheng guo's picture

Thank you!

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