Thermoplastics in challenging environments: The Oil, Mining and Gas Industry

There are many dangers inherent in the oil drilling and mining industries. The dangers shouldn’t be multiplied by faulty equipment. That’s why thermoplastics are a popular choice to manufacture parts for the critical industry. 

Thermoplastics hold up well in harsh environments like you might find on oil rigs and in mining operations. They play an important role in both the extraction and processing of oil, natural gas, and minerals from the earth or ocean. 

When choosing material to make parts for equipment and machines used in mining and processing of natural resources, the requirements of the material are strict:

  • The part needs to withstand consistently high temperatures
  • The part needs to withstand exposure to harsh chemicals
  • The part needs excellent permeability properties, to allow liquids or gas to pass through.
  • The part needs to be lightweight so it doesn’t significantly add to the weight of already heavy equipment
  • The part needs to have either good rigidity or flexibility depending on where it’s being used. 

Several thermoplastics boast these qualities. That includes high density Polyethylene (HDPE), PVDF, Nylon, PEEK, and PPS. These materials can be used to manufacture parts and replacement parts that are strong enough to meet all the industry requirements. And, they’re often more durable and long lasting than similar parts made from metal.

Thermoplastics are used for many parts including light weight sheaves, pipe liners, seals, pump components, saddles, wrapping, blast pipe for mining, and wear parts (for abrasion resistance). When you need to replace these parts on a mining or extraction site, you can’t just drive down the road to the nearest manufacturer. Your options are to use parts with higher reliability and longer lifespan, and have replacement parts on site should they fail. 

And, because manufacturing these parts from thermoplastics produces a lightweight end product that is economical to manufacture, you can order extra to keep on site as a back-up, just in case. 

If you are looking to add or replace parts in equipment used in the oil, gas, and mining industry. Contact the Plastifab team today to learn how to design them from thermoplastic.

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