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On the Sealability of Metal-to-Metal Seals with Application to Premium Casing Connections
Shell Global Solutions International BV. University of Twente.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3556-328x
OCAS NV.
Shell Global Solutions International BV.
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2019 (English)Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

Metal-to-metal seals are used in connections of casing in oil and gas wells. This paper describes the mechanisms of sealing of metal-to-metal seals as investigated using an experimental set-up and a sealability model. Experiments were conducted for a variety of thread compounds and applied pin/box surface coatings. The results were used to validate a numerical model for sealability. The stochastic model couples a contact mechanics model with a flow model and takes the influence of all the surface topography features into account. Once validated, the model was used together with the experimental results to explain the sealing mechanisms of metal-to-metal seals. The sealing configuration is a face seal with an R=80 mm round-off radius pressing against a flat. The face seal specimens were manufactured from P110 tubing. The used test set-up is designed for investigating only the metal-to-metal seal of the connection. The set-up can carry out rotary sliding under constant load to simulate surface evolution during make-up and subsequently perform a leakage test. The sealing limit is determined by applying 700 bar fluid pressure and then gradually reducing the normal force until leakage is observed. The data is subsequently used to validate a previously published model. The results indicate a strong dependence of the type of thread compound used on the onset of leakage. The thread compound affects the amount of wear and thus changes the surface topography of the interacting surfaces. It is shown that the sealability model is capable to predict the onset of leakage within the experimental accuracy. The model shows further that certain surface topographical features improve the sealing performance. Namely, a turned against a flat surface topography leads to highly localized contact areas, which in turn yields the best sealing performance. The combination of experimental data with the validated model leads to much deeper insights for the sealing mechanisms than what could be obtained using either on their own.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Tribology (Interacting Surfaces including Friction, Lubrication and Wear)
Research subject
Machine Elements
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73329OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-73329DiVA, id: diva2:1299569
Conference
SPE/IADC Drilling International Conference and Exhibition held in The Hague, The Netherlands, 5-7 March 2019.
Available from: 2019-03-27 Created: 2019-03-27 Last updated: 2019-03-27Bibliographically approved

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Ràfols, Francesc PérezAlmqvist, Andreas

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