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Title:
SPLIT DIVERTER SEAL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/236574
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A diverter flowline seal has segments joined serially together to form the diverter flowline seal, which is shaped as a substantially continuous and uninterrupted path around the diverter. Each segment includes an elastomeric element that seals against the elastomeric element of circumferentially adjacent segments and/or radially adjacent rigid structures, such as a borehole, housing, or other surface(s) to which the diverter flowline seal is suitable for containing pressure, when the segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal. First and/or second carrier components, which can be metallic, are arranged on the top and bottom surfaces, respectively, of the elastomeric elements of each of the segments to provide structural rigidity to the segments and to the diverter flowline seal when assembled.

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Inventors:
REINBOLD, Scott G. (US)
OWENS, Jonathan M. (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2021/032872
Publication Date:
November 25, 2021
Filing Date:
May 18, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LORD CORPORATION (US)
International Classes:
E21B34/02; F16J15/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WILSON, Jeffrey L. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A diverter flowline seal comprising: a plurality of segments, each of which comprises an elastomeric element, wherein the plurality of segments comprises at least a first segment and a second segment; wherein, when assembled together, the first and second segments form at least a portion of a continuous and uninterrupted path configured to extend circumferentially about a diverter; wherein the elastomeric elements of the first and second segments are configured to seal against each other and/or adjacent rigid structures of the diverter when the first and second segments are assembled together during assembly of the diverter flowline seal; and wherein the first and second segments are assembled together in a removable manner, such that the first and second segments are separable from each other without damaging either of the first or second segments.

2. The diverter flowline seal of claim 1, wherein the continuous and uninterrupted path has a substantially circular, or annular, shape.

3. The diverter flowline seal of claim 1, wherein the continuous and uninterrupted path has a substantially polygonal shape.

4. The diverter flowline seal of claim 1 , wherein the first segment has a length that is different from a length of at least the second segment.

5. The diverter flowline seal of claim 1 , wherein the first and second segments at least partially overlap each other along a portion of the continuous and uninterrupted path.

6. The diverter flowline seal of claim 1 , wherein at least one of the first and second segments comprises at least one carrier component that is more rigid than the elastomeric element with which the carrier component is associated.

7. The diverter flowline seal of claim 6, wherein the carrier component comprises a metal or metal alloy.

8. The diverter flowline seal of claim 6, wherein the elastomeric element comprises rubber or nitrile.

9. The diverter flowline seal of claim 1 , wherein each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element.

10. The diverter flowline seal of claim 9, wherein one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal.

11 . The diverter flowline seal of claim 10, comprising: a tab in the elastomeric element at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a channel in the elastomeric element at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each tab and each channel comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments.

12. The diverter flowline seal of claim 11 , wherein the second segment and the adjacent segment are a same segment or different segments.

13. The diverter flowline seal of claim 10, comprising: a step in the first carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing in the first carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the first carrier component at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments.

14. The diverter flowline seal of claim 13, wherein the second segment and the adjacent segment are a same segment or different segments.

15. The diverter flowline seal of claim 13, comprising: a step in the second carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing in the second carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the second carrier component at the second end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments.

16. The diverter flowline seal of claim 15, wherein the second segment and the adjacent segment are a same segment or different segments.

17. The diverter flowline seal of claim 15, comprising: a tab in the elastomeric element at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a channel in the elastomeric element at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each tab and each channel comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments.

18. The diverter flowline seal of claim 17, wherein the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment, the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment, and the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment are each arranged for simultaneous engagement with each other, respectively, as the first and second segments are assembled together.

19. The diverter flowline seal of claim 17, wherein the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment, the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment, and the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment are each arranged for at least partially sequential engagement with each other, respectively, as the first and second segments are assembled together.

20. The diverter flowline seal of claim 19, wherein, when the first and second segments are assembled together to form at least a portion of the diverter flowline seal, the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment either before or after the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is inserted within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and/or the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the second segment is inserted within the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment.

21 . The diverter flowline seal of claim 9, wherein the first and second carrier components of the first and second segments comprise a metal or metal alloy and wherein the elastomeric elements of the first and second segments comprise rubber or nitrile.

22. The diverter flowline seal of claim 1 , wherein the plurality of segments comprises at least a third segment that is configured for assembly with the first and second segments to form the continuous and uninterrupted path.

23. The diverter flowline seal of claim 1 , wherein each elastomeric element comprises a cross-sectional profile in a shape of a “C”.

24. The diverter flowline seal of claim 23, wherein ends of only one elastomeric element are spaced apart by more than 180° along a circumferential direction defined between the ends of the cross-sectional profile of the elastomeric element.

25. The diverter flowline seat of claim 24, wherein ends of all other elastomeric elements are spaced apart by less than 180° along the circumferential direction.

Description:
SPLIT DIVERTER SEAL

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION [0001] This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 63/026,385, which was filed on May 18, 2020, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The subject matter disclosed herein relates to the design and operation of split diverter flowline seals for use in low pressure blowout preventers or diverters associated with hydrocarbon drilling operations.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Low pressure blowout preventers or diverters comprise elastomeric seals that sometimes need to be replaced as a part of routine maintenance. Conventional seals are rings or hoops that can be unwieldy during installation and removal, relative to a diverter. The replacement of flowline seals requires the entire riser assembly to be retrieved/removed from the borehole, which could be up to 10,000 feet in length. It is known that solid flowline seals can be damaged due to the sliding of the seal over and/or within interfaces or surfaces having tight tolerances. It is also possible for seals made entirely from elastomeric material to be damaged during handling (e.g., installation on or about the driveline components and/or insertion of the riser assembly within the borehole. Additionally, there is a known difficulty associated with holding solid flowline seals in place while installing retaining rings in known flowline seals. As such, there exists a need for a seal for use in a diverter that is more easily manipulated during installation and removal thereof.

SUMMARY

[0004] A diverter flowline seal is provided, comprising: a plurality of segments, each of which comprises an elastomeric element, wherein the plurality of segments comprises at least a first segment and a second segment; wherein, when assembled together, the first and second segments form at least a portion of a continuous and uninterrupted path configured to extend circumferentially about a diverter; wherein the elastomeric elements of the first and second segments are configured to seal against each other and/or adjacent rigid structures of the diverter when the first and second segments are assembled together during assembly of the diverter flowline seal; and wherein the first and second segments are assembled together in a removable manner, such that the first and second segments are separable from each other without damaging either of the first or second segments.

[0005] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, the continuous and uninterrupted path has a substantially circular, or annular, shape.

[0006] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, the continuous and uninterrupted path has a substantially polygonal shape.

[0007] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, the first segment has a length that is different from a length of at least the second segment.

[0008] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, the first and second segments at least partially overlap each other along a portion of the continuous and uninterrupted path.

[0009] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, at least one of the first and second segments comprises at least one carrier component that is more rigid than the elastomeric element with which the carrier component is associated.

[0010] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, at least one of the first and second segments comprises at least one carrier component that is more rigid than the elastomeric element with which the carrier component is associated; and the carrier component comprises a metal or metal alloy. [0011] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, at least one of the first and second segments comprises at least one carrier component that is more rigid than the elastomeric element with which the carrier component is associated; and the elastomeric element comprises rubber or nitrile.

[0012] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element.

[0013] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal.

[0014] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a tab formed in the elastomeric element at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a channel formed in the elastomeric element at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each tab and each channel comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments.

[0015] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a tab formed in the elastomeric element at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a channel formed in the elastomeric element at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each tab and each channel comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments; in some such embodiments, the second segment and the adjacent segment are a same segment or different segments.

[0016] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a step formed in the first carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the first carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the first carrier component at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments.

[0017] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a step formed in the first carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the first carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the first carrier component at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments; in some such embodiments, the second segment and the adjacent segment are a same segment or different segments.

[0018] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a step formed in the first carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the first carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the first carrier component at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments; in some such embodiments, the diverter flowline seal also comprises: a step formed in the second carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the second carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the second carrier component at the second end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments.

[0019] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a step formed in the first carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the first carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the first carrier component at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments; in some such embodiments, the diverter flowline seal also comprises: a step formed in the second carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the second carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the second carrier component at the second end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments; in some such embodiments, the second segment and the adjacent segment are a same segment or different segments.

[0020] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a step formed in the first carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the first carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the first carrier component at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments. The diverter flowline seal also comprises: a step formed in the second carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the second carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the second carrier component at the second end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments. In some such embodiments, the diverter flowline seal also comprises: a tab formed in the elastomeric element at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a channel formed in the elastomeric element at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each tab and each channel comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments.

[0021] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a step formed in the first carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the first carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the first carrier component at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments. The diverter flowline seal also comprises: a step formed in the second carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the second carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the second carrier component at the second end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments. In some such embodiments, the diverter flowline seal also comprises: a tab formed in the elastomeric element at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a channel formed in the elastomeric element at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each tab and each channel comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments; in some such embodiments, the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment, the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment, and the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment are each arranged for simultaneous engagement with each other, respectively, as the first and second segments are assembled together.

[0022] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a step formed in the first carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the first carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the first carrier component at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments. The diverter flowline seal also comprises: a step formed in the second carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the second carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the second carrier component at the second end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments. In some such embodiments, the diverter flowline seal also comprises: a tab formed in the elastomeric element at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a channel formed in the elastomeric element at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each tab and each channel comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments; in some such embodiments, the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment, the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment, and the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment are each arranged for at least partially sequential engagement with each other, respectively, as the first and second segments are assembled together.

[0023] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; and one or more of the elastomeric elements, the first carrier components, and the second carrier components of each of the plurality of segments comprise one or more alignment features at respective first and second ends thereof to maintain alignment between adjacent segments of the plurality of segments when the plurality of segments are assembled together to form the diverter flowline seal; the diverter flowline seal comprising: a step formed in the first carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the first carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the first carrier component at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments. The diverter flowline seal also comprises: a step formed in the second carrier component at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; and a landing formed in the second carrier component at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each step and each landing comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the step of the second carrier component at the second end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments. In some such embodiments, the diverter flowline seal also comprises: a tab formed in the elastomeric element at the first end of each of the plurality of segments; and a channel formed in the elastomeric element at the second end of each of the plurality of segments; wherein each tab and each channel comprise a complementary profile with each other, such that the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for removable insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the first segment is configured to removably receive the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of an adjacent segment of the plurality of segments; in some such embodiments, the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment and the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment, the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment and the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment, and the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the second segment and the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment are each arranged for at least partially sequential engagement with each other, respectively, as the first and second segments are assembled together; in some such embodiments, when the first and second segments are assembled together to form at least a portion of the diverter flowline seal, the tab of the elastomeric element at the first end of the first segment is configured for insertion within the channel of the elastomeric element at the second end of the second segment either before or after the step of the first carrier component at the first end of the first segment is inserted within the landing of the first carrier component at the second end of the second segment and/or the step of the second carrier component at the second end of the second segment is inserted within the landing of the second carrier component at the first end of the first segment.

[0024] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each of the first and second segments comprises a first carrier component positioned adjacent to an upper surface of the elastomeric element and a second carrier component positioned adjacent to a lower surface of the elastomeric element; the first and second carrier components of the first and second segments comprise a metal or metal alloy; and the elastomeric elements of the first and second segments comprise rubber or nitrile.

[0025] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, the plurality of segments comprises at least a third segment that is configured for assembly with the first and second segments to form the continuous and uninterrupted path.

[0026] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each elastomeric element comprises a cross-sectional profile in a shape of a “C”.

[0027] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each elastomeric element comprises a cross-sectional profile in a shape of a “C” and ends of only one elastomeric element are spaced apart by more than 180° along a circumferential direction defined between the ends of the cross-sectional profile of the elastomeric element.

[0028] In some embodiments of the diverter flowline seal, each elastomeric element comprises a cross-sectional profile in a shape of a “C”, ends of only one elastomeric element are spaced apart by more than 180° along a circumferential direction defined between the ends of the cross-sectional profile of the elastomeric element, and ends of all other elastomeric elements are spaced apart by less than 180° along the circumferential direction. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029] For a more complete understanding of the present disclosure and the advantages provided therewith, reference is now made to the following brief description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings and detailed description. [0030] FIG. 1 is a schematic partial cross-sectional view of a diverter comprising a seal according to this disclosure.

[0031] FIG. 2 is an oblique view of a first segment of the seal of FIG. 1.

[0032] FIG. 3 is an oblique view of a first end of the first segment of the seal of FIG. 2. [0033] FIG. 4 is an oblique view of a second end of the first segment of the seal of FIG. 2.

[0034] FIG. 5 is an oblique view of a first end of a first segment and a second end of a second segment of the seal of FIG. 1 , aligned for connection.

[0035] FIG. 6 is an oblique view of the first end of the first segment and the second end of the second segment of the seal, shown in FIG. 5, in a partially assembled state.

[0036] FIG. 7 is an oblique view of the first end of the first segment and the second end of the second segment of the seal, shown in FIG. 5, in a fully assembled state. [0037] FIG. 8 is a top isolated view of the elastomeric elements of the first and second segments of the seal in the partially assembled state shown in FIG. 6. [0038] FIG. 9 is a top view of the elastomeric elements of the first and second segments of the seal in the fully assembled state shown in FIG. 7.

[0039] FIG. 10 is an oblique view of the first and second segments of the seal of FIG. 1 in the fully assembled state shown in FIG. 7 and 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0040] Low pressure blowout preventers and diverters are commonly utilized in the hydrocarbon exploration, drilling, and recovery industry. This disclosure divulges seals for use in diverters and/or low-pressure blowout preventers. In some cases, the seals disclosed herein are an improvement of conventional seals because the seals comprise multiple segments that form a closed loop when connected. By comprising multiple segments, installation and removal of the seals in diverters can be accomplished faster, without fully disassembling the diverters, without the need to retrieve the full riser length, and with more ease because the segments are not as unwieldy as a conventional one-piece ring seal.

[0041] FIG. 1 shows a schematic partial cross-sectional view of an example embodiment of a diverter, generally designated 100, which comprises a seal 102. The seal 102 is made of a plurality of segmented sections that are assembled together and installed in the diverter 100. In the example embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the seal 102 is captured (e.g., held in a substantially fixed position) between a housing 104, an upper portion 106, and a central portion 108. The seal 102 is shown schematically in FIG. 1 as a block, but this schematic illustration of the seal 102 is used to represent all of the components of the multi-segmented section seal 102 as a sealing system. While the seal 102 is shown in FIG. 1 as having a generally rectangular cross- sectional shape, or profile, the seal 102 is not limited to such a rectangular shape. The cross-sectional shape of the components that form the seal 102 disclosed herein can be provided in any of a plurality of different configurations, shapes, sizes, thicknesses, and the like, further example embodiments of which are discussed in more detail elsewhere herein. The seal 102, as well as the segmented sections from which the seal 102 is formed and/or assembled, is used to contain pressure (e.g., hydraulic and/or pneumatic pressure) between the segmented sections themselves and the outer diameter of the diverter 100, as well as against the inner diameter of the housing 104 to prevent fluid flow (e.g., to reduce to a negligible flow rate) past, beyond, and/or around the seal 102 (e.g., where the seal 102, and the components thereof, contacts the surrounding structures, such as the housing 104, the upper portion 106, and the central portion 108).

[0042] FIG. 2 shows various aspects of an example embodiment of a first segment, generally designated 110, of the seal 102 that was shown schematically in FIG. 1. In this example embodiment, the first segment 110 has a generally curved shape, or profile, and forms about half of a circle (e.g., a semicircle). The first segment 110 has a first end, generally designated 112, and a second end, generally designated 114. The first segment 110 has a first carrier component 116, a second carrier component 120, and an elastomeric element 118 disposed between (e.g., positioned vertically between, to physically separate and/or prevent contact between) the first carrier component 116 and the second carrier component 120, such that the first carrier component 116 and the second carrier component 120 are at least partially (e.g., completely) separated from each other by the elastomeric element 118. In this embodiment, the first carrier component 116 and the second carrier component 120 are formed of a metallic material, such as a metal or a metal alloy to provide enhanced durability and resistance to corrosion from the fluid to which the first and second carrier components 116, 120 may be exposed during normal operation. Flowever, in some embodiments, the first and/or second carrier components 116, 120 may be made of any suitably durable and nonreactive material (e.g., comprising a polymer) based on the particular application in which the seal 102 will be employed.

[0043] FIG. 3 shows an enlarged view of the portion of the first segment 110 that is adjacent to the first end 112 thereof. Thus, FIG. 3 shows that each of the first carrier component 116, the elastomeric element 118, and the second carrier component 120, extends to, and is adjacent to, the first end 112 of the first segment 110. At the first end 112 of the first segment 110, the first carrier component 116 comprises a step 122, in the form of a protruding portion having a thickness that is less than an entire thickness of the first carrier component 116. The term “thickness” as used herein generally refers to the vertical direction shown in FIG. 3. Thus, the step 122 is in contact (e.g., direct contact) with the elastomeric element 118 and extends away from the contact surface between the first carrier component 116 and the elastomeric element 118 a distance that is less than an entire thickness of the first carrier component 116. The step 122 extends, in the circumferential direction of the first segment 110, away from the main body of the first carrier component 116 to form the protruding portion referenced herein. At the first end 112 of the first segment 110, the second carrier component 120 comprises a landing 124, in the form of a recessed portion. The recessed portion has a shape that is generally a “negative” of the volumetric space defined by the step 122 shown in FIG. 3. Flowever, since the step 122 of the first carrier component 116 is not inserted within the landing 124 of the second carrier component 120, the step 122 and the landing 124 may have different dimensions from each other. The recessed portion of the landing 124 (e.g., the hollow volumetric area) has a thickness that is less than the entire thickness of the second carrier component 120. Thus, the recessed portion of the landing 124 extends in the circumferential direction away from the main body of the second carrier component 120 to form the recessed portion referenced herein.

[0044] In the example embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the elastomeric element 118 comprises a recessed slot, or channel 126 that is formed (e.g., molded) into the elastomeric element 118 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110. The channel 126 shown in FIG. 3 is formed as a recess extending in the circumferential direction of the seal 102 into the elastomeric element 118, such that the channel 126 has a shape of a cavity, or recess. The channel 126 is shown as extending through substantially all of (e.g., entirely) the thickness of the elastomeric element 118. In some embodiments, the channel 118 can extend over only a portion of the thickness of the elastomeric element 118.

[0045] The elastomeric element 118 has a cross-sectional shape that is generally in the shape of a “C” opening radially inwardly such that the respective “legs” of the “C” protrude radially inwardly (and inclined at an angle, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 3) to form a deformable sealing surface configured to engage against, for example, the central portion 108 shown in FIG. 1 to prevent fluid flow past, beyond, and/or around the seal 102. The use of two “legs” for the elastomeric element 118 is advantageous in some aspects because this arrangement forms two sealing surfaces to prevent fluid flow past, beyond, or around the radially inner surface of the seal 102. Thus, in the example embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the elastomeric element 118 has an uncompressed width, as defined in the radial direction of the seal 102, that is greater than a width of the first carrier component 116 and the second carrier component 120, at least when the elastomeric element 118 is in an undeformed state. In some embodiments, however, the elastomeric element 118 may have a width in the radial direction that is substantially the same as, or smaller than, a width of the first carrier component 116 and/or the second carrier component 120, at least when the elastomeric element 118 is in an undeformed state.

[0046] FIG. 4 shows an enlarged view of the portion of the first segment 110 that is adjacent to the second end 114 thereof. Thus, FIG. 4 shows that each of the first carrier component 116, the elastomeric element 118, and the second carrier component 120, extends to, and is adjacent to, the second end 114 of the first segment 110. At the second end 114 of the first segment 110, the second carrier component 120 comprises a step 122, in the form of a protruding portion having a thickness that is less than an entire thickness of the second carrier component 120. The term “thickness” as used herein generally refers to the vertical direction shown in FIG. 4. Thus, the step 122 is in contact (e.g., direct contact) with the elastomeric element 118 and extends away from the contact surface between the second carrier component 120 and the elastomeric element 118 a distance that is less than an entire thickness of the second carrier component 120. The step 122 extends, in the circumferential direction of the first segment 110, away from the main body of the second carrier component 120 to form the protruding portion referenced herein. At the second end 114 of the first segment 110, the first carrier component 116 comprises a landing 124, in the form of a recessed portion. The recessed portion has a shape that is generally a “negative” of the volumetric space defined by the step 122. However, since the step 122 of the second carrier component 120 is not inserted within the landing 124 of the first carrier component, the step 122 and the landing 124 may have different dimensions from each other. The recessed portion of the landing 124 (e.g., the hollow volumetric area) has a thickness that is less than the entire thickness of the first carrier component 116. Thus, the recessed portion of the landing 124 extends in the circumferential direction away from the main body of the first carrier component 116 to form the recessed portion referenced herein.

[0047] As will be described elsewhere herein in greater detail, since the segmented sections of the seal 102 are assembled together, in forming the seal 102, the ends thereof are formed such that step and landing formed at each end is compatible with (e.g., so as to fit within) a respective landing and step formed in an end to which the first segment is attached in forming the seal 102. For example, the landing 124 that is formed in the first carrier component 116 at the second end 114 of the first segment 110 will be shaped as a “negative” hollow region that has a volumetric shape that is substantially similar to a step that is formed into a first carrier component of an adjacent end of another segmented section, to which the first segment 110 is attached in forming the seal 102.

[0048] FIG. 4 further shows that the elastomeric element 118 comprises a tab 128. The tab 128 is sized and shaped to be selectively complementarily (e.g., removably) received within a channel formed in an elastomeric element of an adjacent segmented section of the seal 102 to which the second end 114 of the first segment 110 is attached in forming the seal 102. Thus, the tab 128 has a same profile (e.g., the same cross-sectional shape) as the inner contour of the channel 126, such that the tab 128 fits within the channel 126 when the first segment 110 is assembled with a compatible second segment (see, e.g., 130, FIG. 5) form the seal 102. In some embodiments, the tab 128 can be a continuous and monolithic structure and the channel associated therewith can be formed as a continuous and monolithic hollow recess. In some embodiments, the tab 128 can be formed as a plurality of discrete (e.g., physically separate, or disconnected) tabs 128, which can be inserted within a channel 126 that is formed as a continuous and monolithic hollow recess. In some embodiments, the tab 128 can be formed as a plurality of discrete (e.g., physically separate, or disconnected) tabs 128, which can be inserted within a channel 126 that is subdivided to form a plurality of discrete (e.g., physically separate, or disconnected) channels 126 that are arranged in a same, or mirrored, pattern as are the plurality of tabs 128. Thus, in some such embodiments, the plurality of tabs 128 and the plurality channels 126 can be arranged in a linear pattern, a scattered pattern, offset from each other in the radial direction in an alternating manner, or any suitable pattern for allowing reliable insertion of each tab 128 within a corresponding one of the channels 126.

[0049] In FIG. 5, the first segment 110 is positioned such that the first end 112 thereof is adjacent to, but not overlapping, a second end 114 of a second segment 130 of the seal 102. The second segment 130 is substantially similar, or identical, to the first segment 110 shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Thus, the step 122 of the first carrier component 116 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110 is configured to be selectively complementarily (e.g., removably) received within a landing 124 at a second end 114 of the first carrier component 116 of the second segment 130 when the first and second segments 110, 130 are assembled together to form the seal 102. The step 122 of the second carrier component 120 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110 is configured to be selectively complementarily received (e.g., removably) within a landing 124 at a second end 114 of the second carrier component 120 of the second segment 130 when the first and second segments 110, 130 are assembled together to form the seal 102. [0050] The step 122 formed in the first carrier component 116 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110 may be of a different shape, size, profile, etc. than the step 122 formed in the second carrier component 120 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130. Accordingly, the landing 124 formed in the first carrier component 116 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130 will be shaped as a hollow region that is substantially identical to the step 122 formed in the first carrier component 116 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110 and the landing 124 formed in the second carrier component 120 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110 will be shaped as a hollow region that is substantially identical to the step 122 formed in the second carrier component 120 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130.

[0051] A step 122 and a landing 124 that are compatible with each other and configured for interconnection when forming the seal 102 can be referred to herein as a mated step/landing pair. One or more mated step/landing pair may have a differently shaped, sized, profiled step 122 and landing 124 from any other mated step/landing pair of a seal 102, such that each step 122 and landing 124 of a mated step/landing pair can be keyed to prevent insertion of a step 122 within an incorrect landing 124. Furthermore, while each first end 112 and each second end 114 of the first and second segments 110, 130 are described in the example embodiment disclosed herein as having one step 122 and one landing 124 formed therein, in some embodiments, the first end 112 of the first and second segments 110, 130 may have a plurality of steps 122 (e.g., with no landings 124) formed therein, with the second end 114 of the first and second segments 110, 130 having a corresponding (e.g., same) number of landings 124 formed therein as the number of steps 122 formed in the first end 112 of each of the first and second segments 110, 130. The opposite arrangement is also possible, in which the second end 114 of the first and second segments 110, 130 has a plurality of steps 122 (e.g., with no landings 124) formed therein, with the first end 112 of the first and second segments 110, 130 having a corresponding (e.g., same) number of landings 124 formed therein as the number of steps 122 formed in the second end 114 of each of the first and second segments 110, 130. [0052] As shown in FIG. 5, when forming the seal 102, the step 122 of the first carrier component 116 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110 is aligned for selective (e.g., removable) engagement with the landing 124 of the first carrier component 116 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130. At the same time, the landing 124 of the second carrier component 120 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110 is aligned for selective (e.g., removable) engagement with the step 122 of the second carrier component 120 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130.

[0053] Similarly, during assembly of the seal 102, the step 122 of the second carrier component 120 at the second end 114 of the first segment 110 is aligned for selective engagement with the landing 124 of the second carrier component 120 at the first end 112 of the second segment 130. At the same time, the landing 124 of the first carrier component 116 at the second end 114 of the first segment 110 is aligned for selective (e.g., removable) engagement with the step 122 of the first carrier component 116 at the first end 112 of the second segment 130.

[0054] As the respective steps 122 and landings 124 of the respective first and second ends 112, 114 of the first and second segments 110, 130 are being aligned, the tab 128 of the elastomeric element 118 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130 must be aligned for selective (e.g., removable) engagement within the channel 126 (see, e.g., FIG. 3) formed in the elastomeric element 118 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110. Furthermore, the tab 128 of the elastomeric element 118 at the second end 114 of the first segment 130 must be aligned for selective (e.g., removable) engagement within the channel 126 (see, e.g., FIG. 3) formed in the elastomeric element 118 at the first end 112 of the second segment 110

[0055] FIG. 6 shows a position of the first and second ends 112, 114 of the first and second segments 110, 130, respectively, in which the alignment features (tab 128 and channel 126, and mated step/landing pairs formed in each of the first carrier component 116 and the second carrier component 120) are aligned with each other and have been at least partially assembled together. Thus, in FIG. 6, alignment features at the first end 112 of the first segment 110, including the step 122 of the first carrier component 116, the tab 128 of the elastomeric element 118, and the landing 124 of the second carrier component 120, are shown in an intermediate state of connection (e.g., partially assembled) to the corresponding alignment features at the second end 114 of the second segment 130, including the landing 124 of the first carrier component 116, the channel 126 of the elastomeric element 118, and the step 122 of the second carrier component 120. As shown in the intermediate state of connection of FIG. 6, the tab 128 of the elastomeric element 118 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130 is partially inserted within the channel 126 formed in the elastomeric element 118 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110, the step 122 formed in the first carrier component 116 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110 is partially inserted within the landing 124 formed in the first carrier component 116 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130, and the step 122 formed in the second carrier component 120 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130 is partially inserted within the landing 124 formed in the second carrier component 120 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110, thereby aligning the first end 112 of first segment 110 with the second end 114 of the second segment 130 during assembly of the seal 102.

[0056] FIG. 7 shows a position of the first and second ends 112, 114 of the first and second segments 110, 130, respectively, in which the alignment features (tab 128 and channel 126, and mated step/landing pairs formed in each of the first carrier component 116 and the second carrier component 120) are aligned with each other and have been fully assembled together. Thus, in FIG. 7, the alignment features at the first end 112 of the first segment 110, including the step 122 of the first carrier component 116, the tab 128 of the elastomeric element 118, and the landing 124 of the second carrier component 120, are shown in a final state of connection to (e.g., fully assembled with and/or attached to) the alignment features at the second end 114 of the second segment 130, including the landing 124 of the first carrier component 116, the channel 126 of the elastomeric element 118, and the step 122 of the second carrier component 120. As shown in the final state of connection of FIG. 7, the tab 128 of the elastomeric element 118 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130 is fully inserted within the channel 126 formed in the elastomeric element 118 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110, the step 122 formed in the first carrier component 116 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110 is fully inserted within the landing 124 formed in the first carrier component 116 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130, and the step 122 formed in the second carrier component 120 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130 is fully inserted within the landing 124 formed in the second carrier component 120 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110, thereby preventing relative movement in the radial direction between the first end 112 of first segment 110 and the second end 114 of the second segment 130 during assembly of the seal 102.

[0057] FIG. 8 shows a top isolated view of the respective elastomeric elements 118 of the first and second segments 110, 130 in a position that is substantially similar to the intermediate state of connection shown in FIG. 6. The first and second carrier components 116, 120 of both of the first and second segments 110, 130 are omitted from FIG. 8, such that the interaction between the channel 126 and the tab 128 of the first and second segments 110, 130, respectively, can be shown therein. In FIG. 8, the tab 128 of the elastomeric element 118 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130 is shown inserted within (e.g., being at least partially inserted within) the channel 126 of the elastomeric element 118 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110. The tab 128 and the channel 126 have a tapered cross- sectional profile, as shown in FIG. 8. Such a tapered cross-sectional profile of the tab 128 and the channel 126 can advantageously provide easier alignment of the first and second segments 110, 130 during the assembly of the seal 102, since the tip of the tab 128 is smaller (e.g., narrower) than the base (e.g., entry plane, or widest point) of the channel 126 and the tapered cross- sectional shapes of the tab 128 and the channel 126 promotes progressive alignment between the first and second segments 110, 130 as the tab 128 is inserted farther into the channel 126, meaning that the degree to which the first and second segments 110, 130 are aligned (e.g., in the radial direction, as shown in FIG. 8) increases the farther that the tab 128 is inserted into the channel 126, since the gap between the outer surfaces of the tab 128 and the inner surfaces of the channel 126 in the radial direction also decreases as the tab 128 is inserted progressively farther into the channel 126.

[0058] FIG. 9 shows a top isolated view of the respective elastomeric elements 118 of the first and second segments 110, 130 in a position that is substantially similar to the final state of connection shown in FIG. 7. Just as was described regarding FIG. 8, the first and second carrier components 116, 120 of both of the first and second segments 110, 130 are omitted from FIG. 9, such that the interaction between the channel 126 and the tab 128 of the first and second segments 110, 130, respectively, can be shown therein. As shown in FIG. 9, the tab 128 of the elastomeric element 118 at the second end 114 of the second segment 130 is shown inserted within (e.g., being fully inserted within) the channel 126 of the elastomeric element 118 at the first end 112 of the first segment 110. The overlapping arrangement of the tab 128 and the channel 126 allows compression of the elastomeric elements 118 of the first and second segments 110, 130 against each other in the radial and/or circumferential directions of the seal 102, thereby improving the sealing capability of the elastomeric elements 118 against any surrounding structures (e.g., central portion 108 of FIG. 1) when the first and second segments 110, 130 are assembled together to form the seal 102.

[0059] FIG. 10 is an oblique view of a fully assembled and/or a fully connected seal 102, in which the first and second segments 110, 130 are shown assembled together (e.g., interconnected, via the respective alignment features thereof, including steps 122, latches 124, tabs 128, and channels 126). While the example embodiment shown in FIG. 10 includes only two segments 110, 130 that form the seal 102, the seal 102 can be formed from any suitable quantity of segments that, when assembled together, form a seal of a desired shape (e.g., an annularly-shaped ring, or any other suitable geometric shape). For example, the seal 102 can be formed out of three, four, five, six, etc. segmented sections, some or all of which have the alignment features disclosed herein as being provided on each of the first and second segments 110, 130. In some embodiments, the segmented sections, regardless of the quantity thereof, that are assembled to form the ring, may have the same or different lengths. For example, a first subset of segmented sections may have a first length and a second subset of segmented sections may have a second length, the first length being shorter or longer than the second length. In some embodiments, one, a plurality of, or all of the segmented sections used in forming a seal 102 may have a different length from any other segmented section of the seal 102.

[0060] A method of assembling such a seal 102 as is disclosed herein within a diverter 100 comprises cooperatively inserting each segmented section (e.g., both of the first segment 110 and the second segment 130 shown in the example embodiments disclosed herein) within a space (e.g., a circumferentially extending, annular, region) of the diverter 100. The location/orientation of the diverter 100 relative to the first segment 110 and the second segment 130 and also the location/orientation of the first segment 110 relative to the second segment 130 must be considered so the first and second segments 110, 130 can be removably assembled together to form a seal 102 that extends substantially continuously (e.g., allowing for seams between the first and second segments 110, 130) about a surface, such as the outer circumferential surface, of the diverter 100.

[0061] While the seal 102 in the example embodiment shown and described herein comprises only two segments, the first and second segments 110, 130, the seal 102 is in no way limited to embodiments having only two such first and second segments 110, 130. For example and without limitation, in some embodiments a seal, which is functionally equivalent and/or substantially similar to seal 102, comprises more than two segments (e.g., including a third, fourth, etc. segment). In some example embodiments of a seal, one or more of the segments that collectively form the seal can have unequal lengths, regardless of whether the seal comprises two segments or more than two segments. In other words, a seal according to the subject matter disclosed herein can comprise, for example, three segments where two of the segments have substantially the same length and the third segment being longer or shorter than the length of the first and second segments. In some example embodiments of a seal, each segment can have a different length, or can be arranged in pairs or groupings, each of which is made up of segments of different lengths from segments of other pairs or groupings, the segments of each pair or grouping being assembled together with the segments of other pairs or groupings.

[0062] In some embodiments, a seal substantially similar to seal 102 can comprise only two segments and the first and second segments can have dissimilar lengths (e.g., the first segment can be longer or shorter than the second segment). This can be advantageous for providing for easier installation by virtue of the longer segment undergoing elastic deformation during installation about the diverter, such that the longer segment is retained about the diverter even when not assembled with the second segment, thereby requiring a radially-directed installation and removal force to cause the elastic deformation of the first segment during the assembly and disassembly of the seal. In the above example embodiment, the distance between the ends of the longer segment is smaller than the maximum diameter of the diverter about which the longer seal is positioned.

[0063] In some embodiments, the seal may have a non-circular profile, but may nonetheless form a closed loop. In other words, seals substantially similar in function to seal 102 are contemplated that have segments that, when assembled together, collectively form polygons, ovals, or any other shape that constitutes a closed loop comprising an elastomeric material (e.g., with analogous first and second carrier components 116, 120 arranged over and under the elastomeric element 118 to provide structural rigidity).

[0064] Testing results of a seal substantially similar to seal 102 show that sealing pressures on the sealing surfaces (housing, split faces, bore) under installation and actuation can be measured and can be greater than the fluid pressure the flowline seal is intended to seal against. The analysis also shows the bonded reinforcement metals (such as the elastomeric element 118 being bonded to carrier components 116, 120) provide the benefit of reducing the extrusion potential that is inherent with seals that consist of only elastomeric materials. In some embodiments, it is advantageous to apply a suitable lubricant onto and/or over the sealing surfaces of elastomeric elements 118 (or the surfaces of the structures, such as the diverter, against which the sealing surface of the elastomeric elements 118 are in direct contact with, to form a seal against) prior to installation of the segments into and/or around a diverter 100 and prior to actuation of the seal (e.g., pressurizing it, or applying a pressure thereto) to ensure proper sealing at the split interface (e.g., the seam formed between adjacent segments of the seal) between the elastomeric elements 118 of adjacent segments. In the example embodiment shown, the split interface between elastomeric elements 118 is generally vertically-oriented (e.g., aligned to extend in a direction coaxial with the diverter). In some embodiments, however, the split interface can be inclined (e.g., in a helical manner)to extend in a direction that has both axial and circumferential components, or vectors.

[0065] The presently disclosed seals are advantageous because a seal substantially similar to seal 102 can be made having a mass that is about half the mass of a conventionally-known solid seal that uses metal reinforcements and provides for significantly faster and simpler assembly and/or installation of the seal onto and/or about the diverter. In some embodiments, the connections (e.g., alignment features of the steps 122 and the landings 124) between the first and second carrier components (e.g., 116, 120) can be positioned between (e.g., spaced circumferentially apart from) and/or at (e.g., located adjacent to) actuation ports of a diverter.

[0066] Other embodiments of the current invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from a consideration of this specification or practice of the invention disclosed herein. Thus, the foregoing specification is considered as showing merely example embodiments of the current invention, with the true scope thereof being defined by the following claims.