The grant, which is part of the UK’s Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Smart’ scheme, will partly fund a two-year project to develop, manufacture and test the new Hardide coating. Laboratory development has already been under way for the last five years. Suitable for oil and gas, mining and construction, the coating will enable drilling tools and high-wear parts to operate better in severely abrasive environments where current technologies fail, according to Hardide Coatings.

Oil and gas drilling environments are becoming increasingly hostile as exploration and production move to deeper and harsher waters to exploit remaining reserves. Existing protective technologies are failing to provide the required drilling tool life, and the cost of equipment failure in these locations can quickly run into millions of pounds in rig downtime alone, Hardide Coatings noted.

“The successful completion of this project will produce an innovative new coating and hardfacing material that will offer users of drilling and downhole tools for the oil and gas industry, as well as mining and construction equipment an unprecedented level of wear and erosion resistance,” said Philip Kirkham, CEO of Hardide Coatings. “It has the potential to unlock new drilling and cutting capabilities, which will be of extremely high value to users.”

The new material will complement Hardide’s existing range of wear- and erosion-resistant coatings.