The Magic of Urethane

The Magic of Urethane

Urethane optimizes Caterpillar’s valve and seat assemblies

In today's fluctuating oil and gas industry, managing costs is a critical factor for maintaining profitability. While no one can predict exactly how the petroleum and gas markets will fluctuate, everyone can choose to use equipment that has a long lifespan, works reliably day in and day out, and is quick to repair or replace. Many O&G professionals prefer valves and seats with hard-working urethane because of its exceptional performance in the petroleum field.

Why urethane?

For decades, heavy industry has used rubbers and plastics to both provide lubrication for and improve the strength of equipment couplings. Over time, chemical engineers took the best properties of both rubber and plastic to create a new substance: urethane. Urethane has all the features of both rubber and plastic, but also has enhanced performance capacity that surpasses that of either rubber or plastic. Urethane is now used in countless applications because of its many beneficial properties:

  • High load bearing capacity
    Because urethane is a chemical substance, its components can be manipulated to provide the highest possible strength. In the O&G industry, no other material exists that can match the strength and durability of urethane.
  • Impact and abrasion resistance
    The oil field is a particularly challenging worksite for industrial equipment. Sand, grit, chemical fluids and fluid ends quickly wear down all aspects of their related equipment, which then needs repair or replacement. Urethane is a buffer to those challenges because it can withstand high impact pounding and exposure to abrasives for extended periods of time without erosion. Urethane works to extend the life of the equipment, saving both money and time.
  • Reliable performance
    Urethane bonds well with many surfaces, making its use in O&G valves and seats particularly valuable. The bond between the metal valve body base and the urethane does not fail during operations, extending the valve life span significantly, leading to lower owner and operating costs.

Urethane creates durability in O&G equipment

Without the addition of urethane into the working parts of the valve and its seat, O&G equipment would fail at a much higher rate. Metals can corrode, erode, buckle and warp when exposed to high heat, heavy pressure and fluid-borne grit, all of which are encompassed in the daily work of the O&G valves. Urethane bonded to the metal parts of the valve and reacted more favorably to impact forces, extending their functionality and making them extremely durable.

Urethane enhances the durability and performance of valves and seats

Caterpillar spent two years developing a superior valve and seat solution for pressure pumping equipment. The single cast valve has no internal bonds or connections that could fail, eliminating that possibility in the field. The urethane aspect of the piece was improved with new material and abrasion resistance by a proprietary heat treating and case hardening process. Overall, the design improvement extends the life of the valve, requiring fewer replacements and therefore saving money. At the same time, the seat was redesigned to withstand multiple valve changes, another money-saving feature of the Cat valve and seat assembly.

The new design of Cat's valve and seat solution, enhanced by improved urethane properties and function, continue to provide O&G professionals with the long-lived, durable equipment they need to compete in today's oil and gas industries.


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