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Flexible pressure-energized joint

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #5505498.

A fluid-tight coupling and sealing arrangement including a flexible joint for coupling a tube with pressurized fluid flowing therethrough to another tube or a fluid device. The flexible joint basically includes a first tubular member with an outer restraining member coupled thereto, a second tubular member, and a pressure-energized seal positioned between the first and second tubular members. The first tubular member has a first fluid passageway and a first annular sealing surface. The second tubular member has a second fluid passageway, a second annular sealing surface, and an outwardly facing bearing surface. The outer restraining member carries an inwardly facing bearing surface for engaging the outwardly facing bearing surface of the second tubular member. In some embodiments, the bearing surface of the outer restraining member is integrally formed therewith, while in other embodiments, the bearing surface is formed by a separate bearing ring such as a carbon-graphite insert carried by the outer restraining member. Also, in some embodiments, the outer restraining member is fixedly coupled to the first tubular member, while in other embodiments, the outer restraining member is releasably coupled to the first tubular member.

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