PAEK Trumps Epoxy in Next-Generation Oil & Gas Electrical Connectors

Consistent properties and processing won over connector specialist Rampart Products.

A high-temperature polyaryletherketone (PAEK) was recently selected for the new high-pressure/high-temperature (HPHT) Kintec (KTK) electrical connector for the efficient and safe transmission of power and data during the oil drilling process by Houston-based oil and gas electrical connector specialist Rampart Products. Victrex HT from Victrex Polymer Solutions (U.S. office in West Conshohoken, Penn.) is replacing glass-reinforced epoxy in these multi-pin connectors used in oilfield equipment whose reliability is crucial to reducing costly downtime. The new KTK connector has more than twice the impact resistance of the traditional connectors, which provides greater reliability in use by reducing cracking and chipping associated with the latter. Another big plus: more efficient manufacturing through rapid injection molding.

The new KTK connector had to be rated for temperatures beyond 400 F and pressures at 20,000 psi, providing also a reliable electrical connection while protecting expensive sensors and electronics. Other requirements included compatibility with industry-standard pin patterns, extended mating cycles and assembly efficiencies. To prove the reliability of the Victrex HT multi-pin connector, Rampart gained data from using a new test vessel. It allows real-world operational settings to test the performance at both high temperature and high pressure simultaneously in a precise manner. This in contrast to alternative evaluation methods that typically test the connector at an appropriate temperature but at minimal pressure, or at high pressure at room temperature, 

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