Wednesday, October 21, 2009

US Patent 7604049 - Graphitic nanoflake composites for oil field exploration

This patent from Schlumberger Technology Corporation teaches a polymer composite including graphitic nanoparticles in order to enhance the reliability and lifespan for sealants and insulation used in oil extraction apparatus. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus comprising:

(a) a polymeric matrix formed into an oilfield element; and

(b) a plurality of expanded graphitic nanoflakes and/or nanoplatelets having an expansion ratio ranging from about 40:1 to about 300:1 dispersed in the polymeric matrix,

wherein the expanded graphitic nanoflakes and/or nanoplatelets are selected from the group consisting of expanded graphite, exfoliated graphite, and compositions based on boron and nitrogen, and mixtures and combinations thereof.