Downhole Drilling Services Company

“The customer reports large cost savings and significant life extension of the previously failing part.”

PROFILE

Our customer is one of the largest independent directional drilling companies in the USA, offering best-in-class mud motors, state-of-the-art measurement-while-drilling (MWD) equipment and a remote operations center that monitors every well being drilled across the country. They hold multiple patents on new MWD technology for directional drilling applications.

CHALLENGE

The company was experiencing high wear on an internal surface in a mechanical assembly on one of its new MWD tools. Due to the repeated travel of the internal parts of the cylinder, the component was experiencing wear on the cylinder ID. In addition, the tool had to withstand constant vibration and high shock impacts. Having parts that fail prematurely during this operation is not only costly to remedy (replacement parts), but disrupts the drilling process, reducing efficiency and time-in-hole operation which increases total drilling and rig costs.

Before testing Hardide-T, our nanostructured tungsten carbide/tungsten metal matrix CVD coating, the customer tried ceramic components as well as metal parts with different forms of nitriding, including QPQ. These were not successful and resulted in little-to-no wear resistance and with corrosion visible in one case.

It was a demanding application for traditional hard coatings, requiring an interior coating for a steel cylinder (sleeve) with internal sections that saw repeated travel along the cylinder ID.

Hardide Coated Cylinder
Example of a Hardide-coated cylinder

SOLUTION

Some minor adjustments were made to the interior dimensions and geometry of the machined sleeves to enable the optimum thickness of Hardide coating. Our customer then tested the Hardide-coated sleeves within the tool assembly in the field for an accumulated 200 hours. Initially six Hardide-coated sleeves were tested and no visible signs of wear were recorded on any of the parts. The customer was able to replace a ceramic component that had acceptable wear resistance but was otherwise extremely fragile with a steel component that was much more durable and, with Hardide coating, had wear resistance as good as if not better than the older ceramic part. This reduced failure rates. Currently, hundreds of Hardide-coated sleeves are in use in fields across the USA and the company has greatly reduced the required maintenance and replacement of the sleeves due to reduced wear, cracking and other forms of degradation. The customer reports large cost savings and significant life extension of the previously failing part. The company is considering other applications for the Hardide coating in their range of tools.