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The University of Southampton

Research project: Abrasion-corrosion of downhole drill tool components - Dormant - Dormant

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Tungsten carbide (WC) hardmetals (hard WC particles embedded in a soft metallic binder such as Co) are widely used in the oil and gas industry due to their high hardness and superior wear resitance as sintered compacts or wear resistant coatings.  However, the wear of such surfaces is compciated due to the presence of hard and soft phases which respond differently during abrasion.

Typical downhole environments expose these surfaces to corrosion, often leading to an increase in wear.  This is due to the synergistic effects of coupling wear (mechanical process) and corrosion (electrochemical process). 

This work is funded by Schlumberger plc and aims to elucidate the abrasion-corrosion mechanisms and quantify the synergies observed in sintered and sprayed WC-based hardmetals at micro-scale (using abrasives of the same size as carbide grains) as well as macro-scale (using abrasives 10 times - 100 times the size of carbide grains).  This is acheived by using standard abrasive wear tests, static electrochemical tests and developing a micro-scale abrasion test capable of in-situ electrochemical analysis.

Conferences and events associated with this project:

Evidence of abrasion-corrosion
Evidence of abrasion-corrosion
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