Read The Labels! Why You Should Never Ignore Labels On Molded Oil Tool Elastomers

Posted on: 24 March 2018

Molded oil tool elastomers are a very important part of working in the oil industry. The elastomers are either flexible plastic, rubber tools, or covers for tools that resist the greasiness of the oil when you are working "downhole." Each of these tool elastomers is designed with a specific use in mind. Of course, if you do not read the labels on the tools or the instructions on the packaging, you are not going to know what does what. Here are some reasons why you need to read the packaging or the labels on each oil tool elastomer prior to use.

Make Sure It Does Not Melt

One of the many major dangers of learning how to work around and under oil rigs is oil fires. They do not happen quite so often, but when they do, you want your tools to survive just as much as you want to avoid turning into a human potato chip. If you read labels and instructions, then you know exactly which of your tools (or the tools the oil company provides) that can be used in potentially dangerous situations like this.

Make Sure the Elastomers Cannot Be Dissolved by What Is Found Below

First-time oil riggers often do not realize that it is not just crude oil in the ground below. There are components of crude oil that eventually will be extracted from the oil and be sold separately. Some of these components can, and do, dissolve certain elastomers.

Toluene, methanol, and xylene are just a few of these derivatives/components that will destroy plastic and rubber elastomers in minutes. It helps to first check the concentration of these substances in the oil prior to making a selection of tools to work on the well seals. That way, you are sure to select oil tool elastomers that will hold up and not dissolve, should they be accidentally exposed to these agents.

When You Do Not Know for Certain, Choose Nitrile

Nitrile is a man-made, rubber-like elastomer that, for all intents and purposes, resists many of the downhole issues and situations that can arise. While there is no one perfect elastomer for working in this field, nitrile comes very close to it. It is also advisable to wear nitrile work gloves, since they closely hug the skin, they will not cause a skin allergy, and prevent the build-up of moisture inside the gloves while you are wearing them.