Poulton Technologies’ ‘Connect and Seal’ product was created due to a need for an unbreakable pipeline connector that can be fitted in hostile conditions, in limited space and without a need for welding or other hot work.
After its successful launch to market in 2018, the technology has now undergone further testing, resulting in new certification.
Their PT1 connector has achieved a certified helium leak rate of 3x10-10 mbar.litres/second (equivalent to 1 cc of helium lost in 105 years), marking another major milestone for the company. Additionally, in support of the type approval testing, the connector reached a hydrostatic test pressure of 1650 bar/24000 psi without failing.
The helium test is a standard measure of leakage, using a combined mass spectrometer and vacuum pump to draw a vacuum inside the sealed connector, and to remove as much latent background helium as possible. The connector is then placed within a bag, and a partial vacuum drawn on that to remove majority of the air. The bag is then refilled with helium to a slight over-pressure.
The result is that the connector is purged of virtually everything and placed within a helium-rich atmosphere in order that any leakage of helium through the connector seals will be detected within the mass spectrometer.
The majority of applications in the Oil and Gas industry do not require such a high degree of sealing, and typically, pumped gas contains molecules that are significantly larger than helium. However, by demonstrating this extremely high level of sealing, Poulton Technologies have moved the goalposts in terms of what can be achieved in conventional applications. If the PT1 can achieve this rate with helium, think how it could clean up systems that currently rely on conventional gaskets?