3D Printing High Performance Polymers and the Oil and Gas Industry
- Rigoberto C. Advincula (Case Western Reserve University)
- Document ID
- NACE International
- CORROSION 2019, 24-28 March, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. NACE International
- coatings, oil and water separation, anti-corrosion, anti-microbial
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- 33 since 2007
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Additive manufacturing and 3D printing hold a number of promise in bringing on-demand and high-performance parts production capable of adding high value to the oil and gas industry. Non-metallic parts offer a number of advantages in reducing corrosion issues and enabling properties such as high-temperature resistance or reversibly, dissolvable or degradable properties. However, most parts used for completion and down-hole tools are still based on traditional molding, extrusion, thermoforming, etc. methods. 3D printing methods (FDM, SLA, SLA, VSP, etc.) holds promise in fabricating parts ranging from high-performance polymer materials (PEEK, PPS, Ultem, etc.) to elastomeric (thermoset elastomer and thermoplastic elastomer) materials. The use of polymer nanocomposite polymers is also a possibility. This talk will give an overview of 3D printing polymer materials from high-performance polymers, elastomers, and nanocomposite materials with high potential for the industry and current projects in the Advincula Research group. This will also enumerate their testing for thermo-mechanical properties including possible new protocols for evaluating performance for downhole conditions, environmental exposure, and degradation properties.
Oil/gas upstream exploration and production is one of the most important extractable natural resource for fuel, energy, chemicals, and materials generation. Metals, plastics and other materials industries, owe much of its feedstock from oil/gas and petroleum (e.g., ethylene to produce polyethylene) either as an energy source for running the plants or as raw materials. Extraction of this resource requires new technology and materials that for highly demanding environments in terms of thermo-mechanical properties, anti-corrosion properties, chemical stability, ductility, etc. Sometimes, it is even desirable for these properties to degrade over time or instantaneously (resorbable or dissolvable polymers).
Downhole tools, completions tools, packers, sensors, and instruments exposed to the resource environment demand that they perform in various environments including higher pressures and higher temperatures. This includes repeated use of these tools for various exploration and production operations. Prior to production, a well needs to be completed. During the completion stage tools are needed for staging, isolation, retrieval, well direction and setting, etc.. This includes packers, seals, retrievable packers, cement retainers, bridge plugs, selective treating tools, setting tools, etc. A number of them are meant to work not only under higher pressure and temperatures (HPHT)s but also under flowing cement or high brine conditions. Once the completion stage is finished, the production mode is ushered. The proper design of this “completion string” is essential to ensure the well can flow properly on specific reservoir conditions and permit operations necessary for enhanced and long-term production. For production, parts of this include the: wellhead, blowout preventers or Christmas tree, tubing hanger, production tubing, downhole and annular safety valves, mandrels, submersible pumps, packers, perforating joints, etc. While a good number of these parts and tools are made of metal and corrosion resistant alloys, increasingly they have components made up of polymer based materials (thermosets, rubbers, elastomers, and thermoplastics) and are classified as corrosion-free components. It is of high interest to develop the non-metallic equivalent and more importantly explore the potential of additive manufacturing (AM) to develop these replacements.
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