Leonardo Centre Team Assists Local Company to Develop Unique Wear Test Capability

The Surface Engineering Group (SEG) is a Yorkshire Forward sponsored collaborative venture with NAMTEC to assist local companies in solving surface-related problems such as wear and corrosion. SEG provides technical, analytical and testing support – as well as advice, training and innovative coating & treatment solutions – to address the current needs of industry in our region. The Group draws upon the combined expertise and resources of Prof Allan Matthews and Dr Adrian Leyland (Leonardo Centre) in the Materials Science & Engineering Department at the University of Sheffield, together with the Materials & Engineering Research Institute (MERI) at Sheffield Hallam University, TWI Ltd and Tata-Corus UK Swinden Technology Centre.

Cutting & Wear Resistant Developments UK Ltd. (CWUK) are a Rotherham-based company who manufacture innovative, high-quality drill-string components for oil- & gas-exploration, and develop & supply a range of hard-facing equipment & consumables. In 2008, company Managing Director, Mark Russell, approached the SEG / Leonardo team in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Sheffield,to assist in developing and instrumenting a novel wear test rig, to simulate conditions of combined abrasion & impact typically encountered during rock drilling.

In-field testing of new rock-drilling equipment is time-consuming and often prohibitively expensive. However, the ability to perform detailed ‘off-line’ wear tests has so far been extremely limited and the results somewhat unreliable. The new test capability developed with SEG assistance has enabled the company to test comprehensively the performance of existing and new hard facing materials in a laboratory environment, whilst replicating with unprecedented accuracy the in-field conditions commonly experienced by drill string components. A fully-instrumented electronic interface (with data logging and feedback control) continuously monitors the performance of the wear rig and provides detailed reports on the wear characteristics of the materials being evaluated 

MD Mark Russell commented: “Although limited facilities already exist in the UK to test vibration wear, our new equipment provides a unique capability to concurrently evaluate wear due both to abrasion and to impact, providing valuable insights on the expected performance of our hard-faced drill-string products in real-life downhole tool environments.”