Successful oilfield reservoir management includes the extraction of hydrocarbons from the earth using metallic tools with elastomeric seals. During this extraction process, the seals are exposed to a wide variety of media including diesel, oil- and water-based muds, strong bases, strong acids, solvents, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and corrosion inhibitors. Therefore, when selecting seal materials for oilfield applications, it is critical that the compatibility of the elastomer and its environment as well as the mechanical requirements of the completion equipment be considered. This paper investigates the process of determining the fluid compatibility (FC) of elastomers and how compatibility affects material selection for downhole applications. This paper focuses on the effects of completion fluids (Bromides and Formates) on elastomers. Elastomer samples were conditioned at temperatures between 175°F (80°C) and 380°F (193°C) for up to three weeks. Fluid compatibility was characterized by measuring changes in hardness, thickness, and ASTM D412 tensile properties (TB, EB, M50, M100). Test results were modeled using the Arrhenius equation without entertaining an in-depth exposition of the method.
KEY WORDS: Fluid compatibility, brine, completion fluid, zinc bromide, cesium potassium formate, elastomer, NBR, HNBR, FKM, TFE/P, ETP