High performance seals, or HPHT, are high pressure seals and high temperature seals that are used for difficult, demanding, and potentially hazardous manufacturing and industrial environments such as subaqueous oil and gas drilling. Depending on a products specifications, high pressure and high temperature technologies like high pressure seals can be used in environments as extreme as 40,000 pounds per square inch or temperatures as high 600 degrees Fahrenheit. On average, however, high pressure seals and other high performance seals fall in the 20,000 to 35,000 pounds per square inch range and temperatures in the 400 to 500 degree Fahrenheit range.
There are several types of high temperature seals and high pressure seals. O rings, spring energized seals, and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and polyetheretherketone (peek seals), are recommended for manufacturing environments in which high pressure, high temperatures, or hazardous chemical use require low friction and high wear resistance. Additionally, the low friction and high wear resistance is also achieved by high temperature oil seals that can withstand temperatures exceeding 480 degrees Fahrenheit.
HPHT and Ultra HPHT projects are underway all over the globe. There has been a significant increase in these types of projects in recent years, although they still only represent a mere 1 percent of worldwide producing reservoirs. Of that 1 percent, most HPHT areas are found in the United States (Gulf of Mexico), Norwegian Sea, North Sea, Thailand, and Indonesia.