With the correct material and procedure, the need for handbanding removal can be eliminated, says Hardbanding Solutions
The use of hardbanding has become more important as advanced drilling techniques put more pressure on the drill string, accelerating wear. Its purpose is to protect the tool joints from wear as they rotate against casing and the well bore during drilling operations. Hardbanding materials are also designed to prevent damage to the casing, with lower friction on contact, when compared to a bare tool joint.
For the most cost-effective protection of the drill string, for the useful life of these assets, hardbanding should first be ordered from the drill pipe or BHA manufacturer. Once it eventually wears, it can be reapplied in the region where it’s being used, by local service companies.
However, it has been accepted as normal practice to occasionally have to remove the hardbanding before reapplication. The remove, repair and re-hardband procedure is time-consuming, expensive, and it reduces the effectiveness of the hardband in comparison to a direct reapplication over the previous worn layer.
There are a series of steps any drill string owner can take to eradicate hardband removal.
Hardbanding can be ordered on new drill pipe, HWDP and drill collars from the manufacturer. Adding it to the purchase specification ensures that the new assets arrive already protected and ready to drill.
During drilling operations, if the hardbanding is managed properly through timely inspection and reapplication, there is no reason why drilling tools should ever be taken out of service or downgraded due to wear of the tool joint.
More long-term and substantial savings are only realised if the hardbanding, once worn, is reapplied at a local service company’s premises, or at the customers chosen location by a mobile hardbanding unit. Duraband® NC is a premium hardbanding material which is always applied 100% crack free, so when it eventually wears, a second layer can be applied quickly and easily over the first.
Asset owners should avoid accepting hardbanding materials which crack on their new pipe, or those which are prone to complications when it comes to reapplication. Some materials marketed as crack-free will sometimes crack after reapplication due to elements within the welding alloy.
• Choose a 100% non-cracking hardbanding, and beware of ‘crack-resistant’ products, it does not mean the same thing.
• Ensure that the material manufacturers welding procedures are explicit, clearly described, up to date, cover all aspects of the hardbanding process and are certified by a notable third-party company such as Fearnley Proctor’s NS-1 accreditation program.
• When it is time for reapplication, it is important to know the compatibility with the previous worn product.
• Any service company applying hardbanding should have passed a certification process offered by the hardbanding material manufacturer.
Reliability is the key to the optimum hardbanding material. Judicious control of the chemistry is essential to providing a material which will give the highest cost savings for the lifetime of these assets.
Any product which is used in our industry must carry sufficient local technical support from the manufacturer. Hardbanding Solutions have taken their responsibility in this regard seriously, especially as the uptake of Duraband® NC in the Middle East has grown. The product is approved by Aramco, ADNOC, and other regional operators.
Support is achieved through holding product in Jebel Ali and Dammam for fast delivery, as well as training and improving a licensed network of local applicators. “We also visit end-users to give technical presentations and recommend how to add value to their assets by protecting their tool joints with hardbanding”, said Scott Day, Middle East Hardbanding manager.
“We have delivered several Skye hardbanding machines to the region, which give service companies the most modern technology to ensure quality and consistency of application”, he added.
The company supports local applicators by training them on their own equipment as they learn the hardbanding procedure to a high standard, at no cost to them.
“We make ourselves available to provide technical support and advice to drill pipe owners, and we like to be involved with every job undertaken in whatever way, and to whatever degree we are needed”.
The end of hardband removal?
Hardbanding Solutions are aiming to improve the way drill string protection is managed and understood in the Middle East. It is possible to eliminate costly hardband removal from our industry.
The knowledge in procedure and the reliability in material to achieve this goal already exists. If the correct material is applied on new assets, the hardbanding is managed through inspection and reapplication is performed well, the savings in time and cost are substantial.
In 2022 Hardbanding Solutions launched a new online resource for drill string protection, find it at www.hardbandingsolutions.com
Hardbanding Solutions are exhibiting at ADIPEC 2023, stand 7410.