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Hydrogen Sulphide (Sour Gas) Test Facilities

Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is encountered in several industries with which MERL has involvement; in oil and gas production it can be a component of the produced fluids and in the automotive industry it can occur in degraded engine oils. As a highly reactive chemical species it can severely degrade many polymeric components, resulting in performance deterioration. Examples include sealing applications, pipelines and adhesives.

MERL has the facilities for, and extensive knowledge of, polymer/H2S compatibility investigations, so that studies can be undertaken to measure service life and scientifically justify their extension where appropriate. Seals can be assessed to API 6A and 14A, NACE TM-0187 and NORSOK M710 for qualification for High Pressure duties.

Elastomeric O-rings and thermoplastic test piece after ageing in H2S-containing fluids


H2S applications experience includes:

  • Compressor seals, valve seals

  • Flowlines (flexible pipe, umbilical, hose)

  • Pipeline insulation (effect of absorbed fluid on properties)

  • Vessel linings

  • Automotive seals

Permeation testing can be undertaken with sour gases in some cases. This enables quantities of gas passing through pipes and seals to be estimated and hence whether the potential for corrosion of metallic parts exists.

Materials tested include:

Elastomers - chemically resistant (e.g. HNBR, FKM, TFE/P, FFKM), thermally resistant (e.g. VMQ) and high mechanical duty types (e.g. NR, EPDM).
Thermoplastics - corrosion resistant (e.g. PTFE, PVDF, ETFE, FEP, PFA, PEEK, PPS, PA, PP).
Thermosets - structural and corrosion resistant composites/FRP (glass or carbon fibre reinforced epoxies, polyesters, phenolics, polyimides).


© 2014 Element Hitchin. The registered company address of:
Element Materials Technology Hitchin Limited is 5 Fleet Place, London EC4M 7RD,
Registered in England. Company registration number: 08149114.

Tel: +44(0)1462 427 850
Polymer Engineering, Testing, Inspection, Research and Development, UK