Offshore drilling, with today’s advanced technology, allows a larger amount of the drilling to be done in the same well. This implies drilling over a far longer distance and the use of directional drill technology. Although this gives major cost and logistic advantages it also greatly increasing wear on the drill string and casing. This wear and the string/casing friction (where they touch) are critical to the drilling efficiency operation. Today, a common wear solution is the hardbanding of the drill collar using oil industry standard alloy weld overlay. However, there is a general increase in demand to find more efficient solutions to extend equipment lifetime.
Castolin Eutectic has been specialists in solving wear problems for over 100 years. Our International OilTec Industry team, which is directly active with customers in the field, plus our R&D department have recently developed some innovative materials and processes for hardbanding. These are:
- Weld Overlay OTW12. A novel alloy wire composition that has low cracking and gives improved drill collar lifetimes, low friction and lower casing wear.
- Plasma Transferred Arc (PTA). Advanced plasma technology that gives lower dilution with base metal, uniform microstructure and a smoother surface. New, patented powder alloys such as OTP 5 are giving the lowest casing wear and friction coefficient.
- Patented Non-magnetic powder. Deposited with PTA to give excellent bonding and wear resistance without disturbing the non-magnetic base metal. Laser coating quality without the laser cost and reliability issues.
Our R&D facilities also include purpose built hardbanding wear simulation test equipment, that is used to screen development alloys before the expensive field testing. The group has recently made several major investments that support the OilTec activities, including a new “green field” state-of-the-art wire and powder Production Plant in Ireland and the launching of a new advanced PTA equipment range.