Ask several different people what they envision when thinking of oil & gas drilling, and there’s a good chance you’ll get several different images in return.
Those unfamiliar with drilling will likely describe the towering drill rig, with its long arm of tons of steel, burrowing deep below the surface.
Run the question by a mechanical engineer, and they’ll take it a step further by envisioning the diamond-coated drill bits on the end of that drilling arm — strong enough to power through the unforgiving rock like the slow grind of a superhero’s fist.
Throw in a data collector from the energy industry, and you’ll hear all about the information collected during the process. What is the logging-while-drilling (LWD) and measurement-while-drilling (MWD) numbers, and the differences between them? Here, it’s all about mapping and analyzing the wells.
Focusing and Putting Things into Perspective
Focus is about perspective. This is something we learn from our customers, as each has a different focus due to a different view. Good companies understand perspective.
They understand that in business, it’s not only necessary to “think like a customer,” but to see like a customer, too. When it comes to addressing a challenge, they know it’s important to be able to change perspective in order to see from the customer’s point of view.
At Kennametal, this concept applied to a recent challenge from an oil and gas drilling customer:
Find a wear-resistant powder containing spherical tungsten carbide that could last a long time, but not interfere with the sensitive electrical sensors in the LWD drill string. In addition, it must have a non-magnetic coating with a magnetic tolerance of less than 1.01 mu.
At the time, such a solution wasn’t part of our usual PTA Welding Portfolio, making it a challenge, indeed. But we love a good challenge.
Finding a Solution
While we had a wide range of solutions to choose from that cover almost all wear and corrosion problems in nearly every industry, the challenge was that most nickel-based matrix materials are magnetic, which would not work for this customer.
Undeterred, we were given flexibility by the customer to explore the range of solutions we have for Oil and Gas, Power Generation, and Mining and Construction industries to customize a solution for their challenge.
Stelcar 9531: An alloy with the right level of material property to form a magnetic field and provide safety for the electronics applications.
The Stelcar material met all of the requirements without losing any wear resistance. It offers a non-magnetic nickel-based alloy with 30% spherical tungsten carbide content.
Today, after aggressive testing and adjusting, Stelcar 9531 is Kennametal’s standard solution for non-magnetic applications.
We would like to thank our customer for pushing the boundaries and making US better!
Do you have a special application request?
Put us up to the challenge! Contact a Wear Solutions Specialist today with the details of your application and what you need to make it “work”.
If you enjoyed this article, don’t stop here!
Catch the rest of our Wear Solutions Series, where we feature specific applications that Kennametal can help you with. Hear from our Industry Leaders, as they write about massive, gravity-defying Crusher Hammers, Super-Speedy Mechanical Cyclones and the shockingly short lives of Loader Liners and Buckets.