Materials Performance

JUN 2019

Materials Performance is the world's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to corrosion prevention and control. MP provides information about the latest corrosion control technologies and practical applications for every industry and environment.

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15 MATERIALS PERFORMANCE: VOL. 58, NO. 6 JUNE 2019 Information on corrosion control and prevention T he Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) (San Antonio, Texas, USA) recently opened a new testing facility designed to offer standardized corrosion testing for oil and gas clients. The facility, located on the nonprof it research and development organization's San Antonio campus, will be used primarily to test the sulf ide stress cracking (SSC) resistance of carbon steel alloys for oil wells and offshore drilling applications in sour gas environments. "Previously, our laboratory work has been predominantly f it-for-purpose test- ing," says SwRI's Elizabeth Trillo, one of the leaders of the project. 1 "Those tests simulate an environment with specif ic solutions, temperatures, and pressures to evaluate materials used in specif ic drill- ing environments and determine whether they can withstand those conditions. Every test is different, but our specialty is catering to the client's end-use need." According to SwRI, the goal of the facility is to provide cost-effective stan- dardized testing as a part of the insti- tute's comprehensive oil and gas sour cor- rosion testing portfolio. "Few industries operate under such harsh conditions," Trillo says. "For this facility, we'll mainly be looking at carbon steel materials used as casings in down- hole drilling applications with high hydrogen sulf ide (H 2 S) levels." In drilling, the casing is a large pipe inserted into the ground to protect the equipment and support the well stream, SwRI explains. It is usually held in place with cement and endures massive amounts of pressure, high temperatures, and corrosive liquids. To withstand this environment, durable and long-lasting materials are ty pically needed. In response, NACE International has developed tests and standards for materi- als used in the oil and gas sector. The NACE TM0177 2 standard test method— "Laboratory Testing of Metals for Resis- tance to Sulf ide Stress Cracking and Stress Corrosion Cracking in H 2 S Envi- New Corrosion-Testing Facility Opens for Oil, Gas Clients ronments"—is widely used to qualif y material performance in oilf ield environ- ments, and SwRI designed its new NACE TM0177 Method A Laboratory for that specif ic method. TM0177 is known as one of the most referenced sour gas testing standards, and Method A comprises a smooth uniax- ial tensile test. "We've ty pically designed new test methods that give us f lexibility and control over individual environmen- tal parameters," says James Dante, manager of SwRI's environmental per - formance of materials section. "This new facility will provide us with the ability to perform repetitive testing in a cost- effective and repeatable manner, while providing our clients with the same level of service they have experienced with more complex testing." The new SwRI facility houses multiple test cells, allowing triplicate samples to be run on different materials. The proof ring cell assemblies are all housed within a customized glove box with nitrogen f low to ensure oxygen levels stay below 10 ppb. "Previously, a sample would be grouped with several others and might fail early on in a 30-day test," says Steve Clay, a senior engineering technologist. "That could be challenging because there was no way to initiate new tests without disturbing the other samples still under test. One of the benef its of this new facil- ity is we're able to test samples in isolated test cells, giving us the ability to change samples without disturbing other sam- ples still under test." The institute explains that the labora- tory allows triplicate samples to be run on multiple materials, or heats. Glass vessels and proof ring assemblies are enclosed in a customized, sealed glove box under a nitrogen blanket. The expo- sures are ty pically performed at a user- specif ied actual yield strength, as SwRI's new facility includes multiple test cells, allowing triplicate samples to be run on different materials. The proof ring cell assemblies are housed within a customized glove box with nitrogen flow to ensure oxygen levels stay below 10 ppb. Photo courtesy of SwRI. Continued on page 16

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