Armoloy (UK) Ltd has recently expanded its operations in response to an increasing demand from the offshore oil and gas sector for its unique surface assurance process. It has added a fourth process tank to its production plant and increased its capacity for treating larger metal items. This investment means that Armoloy UK can now handle items up to 5 m in length, giving them enhanced protection in corrosive and abrasive environments. The company also has travelling cranes that can handle 3 and 5 tonnes respectively.
An engineered coating
The Armoloy NTDC process creates a thin, dense coating which permeates and bonds with its host metal to provide a surface finish that is extremely hard, resilient and slippery. Its ability to permeate and bond produces a highly engineered surface finish that does not flake, crack or peel in extreme hostile environments. This makes it an ideal protective coating in a wide range of applications where metal surfaces are exposed to abrasion, corrosion or friction.
Observed benefits of this surface finish are wide ranging and include longer product life, reduced maintenance costs and better performance properties. The targeted gains for the Armoloy coating may well vary with the base material. Cast iron and alloy steels will show significant benefits in wear and corrosion resistance whereas stainless steels, Inconels and hastelloys will typically show reductions in galling problems and enhanced lubriciity.
Furthermore, the application of Armoloy NTDC is essentially a cold operation – processing temperatures do not rise above that of hot water so we have no problems with distortion. A significant additional benefit for most customers is that the company operates to finished tolerances – no additional machining is required after the processing has been completed.
Offshore oil and gas applications
In offshore applications, the corrosion resistance and friction reduction properties of Armoloy NTDC are applied to valves, gears, winches, flow tubes, mandrels and a variety of housings. It is being used in completions, interventions, artificial lift, wellheads and trees: blow-out preventer (both subsea and surface) and diverter valves.
One of the largest global providers of intervention services has been using Armoloy UK to treat components being used in sand-control solutions and in particular on expandable sand screens. To begin with, rollers on the sand screen’s expansion tool were treated with Armoloy NTDC for corrosion protection but over time it became apparent that the coating’s ability to significantly reduce friction also meant that it could be applied to the screens sliding surfaces to prevent galling issues.
Subsea test trees
Another company that is a leading provider of well flow management systems and well testing services has been using Armoloy NTDC on subsea test trees, in particular, on ball valve housings and bodies, to protect vulnerable areas. Because the integrated coating is extremely thin, the company has also used the process as an ‘easy fix’ to retro-treat areas where there has been previous corrosion, as no new design work or additional machining is required.
Valves on offshore oil platforms
The surface coating has also been recently used on a new range of large bore ‘anti-seize’ diverter valves that are being used on offshore oil platforms. The coating is an integral part of the high performance properties of the new valves which have a product life requirement of 25 years.
Both the valve plug and internal surface of the main body are treated with the Armoloy process because of the highly corrosive and abrasive environments in which the valves operate. The client had begun trialling Armoloy NTDC on small components but quickly found it was delivering the friction and corrosion resistance benefits that they were looking for.
Hydraulic fracturing operations
Because of the nature of the applications, the types of component and the adverse working environments, associated US Armoloy plants have been involved with components for fracking operations for some time. Armoloy NTDC is processed to an international standard that is universally accepted in all the countries that manufacture equipment for the oil and gas industry. This means that Armoloy UK is ideally placed to assist companies in this rapidly expanding market.
In addition to oil and gas, Armoloy NTDC is increasingly being used on valves and actuators in the aerospace sector, in machinery for food processing and packaging, in pharmaceuticals, in nuclear power and in advanced engineering applications. The company holds ISO9001, AS9100 and NADCAP accreditations, and its wide range of approval and specifications are proof positive of the skill and quality assurance protocols applied to operations.
Adapted from a press release by David Bizley
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/product-news/03012014/armoloy_ntdc_and_the_oil_and_gas_sector/