Lambda Technologies Improves Downhole Operations

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Preventing Oil & Gas Leaks with Designed Residual Compression

Dye penetrant image showing stress corrosion cracking completely mitigated with LPB processing

Stress corrosion cracking completely mitigated with LPB processing

With designed compression, parts last longer and cost less to maintain.

Lambda Technologies has developed a solution to extend fatigue life and eliminate stress corrosion cracking in oil field tubular goods. Using low plasticity burnishing (LPB®), Lambda engineers apply a deep, stable layer of designed residual compression to the vulnerable regions of casings, couplings and pipes. LPB introduces a layer of residual compression much deeper than the shallow damage from corrosion pitting, fretting, or handling damage. Fatigue, stress corrosion or sulfide stress cracks that can initiate from this surface damage cannot propagate through the layer of high residual compression, eliminating potential failures.

The US alone produces 8.5 million barrels of oil and natural gas per day, relying on steel pipe and well casings for drilling and recovery efforts. Hydrogen sulfide is commonly encountered downhole, creating a “sour” environment that can limit the fatigue strength and crack resistance of steel tubular goods. Attempts are being made to extend component life using more expensive stainless steels or reducing operating stresses, but changing the material or design of any existing part is costly, and limiting operating stresses reduces profits. The engineered use of beneficial residual compression represents a modern way of thinking about production and maintenance support. Because LPB doesn’t require any changes to the material or existing design of the part, the application provides a relatively inexpensive alternative to improve component life and performance.

As more deep wells and offshore resources are developed, this cost-effective method of mitigating cracking downhole is an invaluable tool to reduce operational costs and improve profits. “The time and money saved by implementing designed compression through the use of highly controlled surface treatments like LPB is astonishing. It’s encouraging to see an increasing number of overhaul applications, but it’s even more exciting to see OEM’s including it in the initial design phase of components. With designed compression, parts last longer and cost less to maintain,” says Dr. Jayaraman, Director of Materials Research at Lambda Technologies.

Lambda Technologies is an innovative company incorporating a premier materials research laboratory with a world-class engineering and production enterprise dedicated to the development and optimization of surface treatments to improve component performance. For additional information on Lambda Technologies or the LPB process, contact Julie Prevéy at (513) 561-0883 or visit http://www.lambdatechs.com.

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Julie Prevey
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