Advanced drilling technology and economic pressures are pushing the envelope of drill string tool joint life as well as casing wear. Hardbanding Solutions by Postle Industries have developed crack-free casing-friendly Duraband® NC hardbanding alloys for the most reliable wear protection on drill pipe tool joints, without damaging the casing. The Duraband NC microstructure consists of a hard but tough tool steel matrix with a high volume of tightly packed micro-constituents. The unique metallurgy of Duraband NC provides wear properties that resist extreme abrasion to protect the tool joint and at the same time minimise wear on the casing.

Duraband NC, the first hardbanding product ever developed offering combined protection of the tool joint and casing, is applied totally crack free and is 100% rebuildable. Hardbanding with Duraband NC greatly reduces the risks of cracks propagating into the tool joint which could lead to flaking, spalling, casing wear or even catastrophic failure.

Duraband NC can be used for all types of drilling environments, including HPHT, sour gas, highly deviated and geothermal wells. Drilling these types of wells can be very hard on hardbanding and drill pipe tool joints. In addition, casing can show excessive wear. In these types of wells, typical hardbanding products that contain cracks frequently result in spalling and chipping caused by unwanted materials getting into and under the crack. This requires premature removal of the drill pipe for repair and reapplication of the hardband, adding extra costs to any drilling operation.

Without cracks, re-applications are extremely easy. Duraband NC can be applied directly over itself without removal or special preparation and the cost of re-application is substantially reduced. Products that stress crack allow drilling fluids, abrasives and other foreign materials to become lodged in and under the cracks. When trying to apply another layer of hardbanding over these cracks, all this unwanted material comes through the surface of the new layer as porosity and voids. In addition, those cracks that were in the previous hardband, come through as well.

With other hardbanding products, the cost of re-application can be 3 or 4 times higher since they have to be removed before re-application. In fact, close to 75% of the total cost of a re-application is removal of the previous hardbanding, application of mild steel as a buildup, and subsequent machining of the mild steel to prepare the tool joint for the application of the hardband. In addition, Duraband NC can be applied over most previous hardbanding, without the need for removal.

Postle Industries established a group of Hardbanding Solutions Technical Centers positioned in eight strategic locations around the world to provide practical educational sessions and offer assistance to applicators with hands-on training, right in the field. These Technical Center have proven to be an invaluable resource for the oil and gas industry in their respective regions.

Due to the rapid growth of hardbanding worldwide, there is a lack of skill and experience specifically related to applying hardbanding products, especially in new and remote drilling regions. Many applicators in these areas have never received the quality of training required to successfully understand and follow strict hardbanding procedures set out by the material manufacturers. A sound application is essential if the hardbanding is going to successfully protect the customers drill string and casing. For this reason, the training and assistance offered by Hardbanding Solutions Tech Centers can make the difference between success and failure.