DeltaTek Global selected the coating, made using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) for a part of its new ArticuLock tool.
DeltaTek Global selected the coating, made using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) for a part of its new ArticuLock tool.

Hardide Coatings says that it has provided a tungsten carbide-based coating for a new oil and gas drilling tool that could save money by allowing it to be used in severe weather.

Well construction specialist DeltaTek Global selected the coating, made using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) for a part of its new ArticuLock tool. ArticuLock can help prolong weather windows to deploy subsea hardware and improve operational reliability by removing bending fatigue in subsea running tools and landing strings.

Hardide’s WC-based coating was used on a ball and socket pivot joint, which is subject to loads of up to 400 tonnes, 5000 psi of working pressure and 30,000 ft lbs of torque while operating in severe wind, wave and current environments.

Delays due to bad weather costs operators £400 million per year in the UK alone and up to 20% of drilling budgets are allocated to waiting on weather, Hardide says. Use of ArticuLock will allow operators to run tools in weather environments where previously drilling would have been suspended. It can reportedly increase operable wave heights by 400%, from up to 1 m to up to 4 m.

Coating finish

The severe operating conditions meant that a hard-wearing coating was needed for the pivot joint body which is manufactured in AISI 4330V alloy steel. The complex grooved geometry on the ball of the pivot joint body also required the necessary post-coat surface finish.

Hardide Coatings and DeltaTek worked together to achieve the necessary hardness, thickness and smooth surface finish through coating and polishing alone, rather than using grinding.

‘ArticuLock will be deployed in some of the harshest oil and gas drilling environments in the world and we need its components to deliver optimal performance under extreme operating conditions,’ said Tristam Horn, DeltaTek CEO.