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STATOR LIFE OF A POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT DOWN-HOLE DRILLING MOTOR

Majid S. Delpassand R&M Energy Systems A Unit of Robbins & Myers, Inc. Conroe, Texas

ABSTRACT

The power section of a positive displacement drill motor (PDM) consists of a steel rotor and a tube with a molded elastomeric lining (stator). Power section failures are typically due to the failure of the stator elastomer. Stator life depends on many factors such as design, materials of construction, and down hole operating conditions. This paper focuses on the stator failure mechanisms and factors affecting stator life. An analytical method for predicting the effect of various design and operating parameters on the strain state and heat build-up within elastomers is discussed.

The effect of parameters such as rotor/stator design, down hole temperature, drilling fluid, stator elastomer properties, motor speed, and motor differential pressure on the stator life is discussed. Non-linear finite element analysis is used to perform thermal and structural analysis on the stator elastomer. Data from laboratory accelerated life tests on power section stators is presented to demonstrate the effect of operating conditions on stator life.

NOMENCLATURE

 

F

loading frequency [Hz]

G’

elastic modulus [psi]

H

hysteresis heat [BTU/hr-ft 3 ]

N

number of rotor lobes

 

P

differential pressure across the

 

Q

power section [dpsi] flow rate [gpm]

S P

slip or blow-by of fluid past seal lines.

 
 

T

A function of differential pressure across adjacent cavities. [number between 0 and 1] torque [ft-lb]

V c

cavity volume; stator pitch x pumping

W

area [in 3 ] rotor speed [rpm]

 

strain [in/in]

 

tan

ratio of viscous to elastic modulus

BACKGROUND

Mud Motor Power Section The power section of a positive displacement drill motor (PDM) converts the hydraulic energy of high pressure drilling fluid to mechanical energy in the form of torque output for the drill bit. A power section consists of a helical-shaped rotor and stator. The rotor is typically made of steel and is either chrome plated or coated for wear resistance. The

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stator is a heat-treated steel tube lined with a helical-shaped elastomeric insert. Figure 1 is a
stator is a heat-treated steel
tube
lined
with
a
helical-shaped elastomeric insert. Figure 1 is a
cross-sectional view of a typical power section.
LOBE
CAVITIES

Figure 1.

Cross-Sectional View of a 4:5 Lobe Power Section.

As shown in Figure 2, the rotors have one less lobe than the stators and when the two are assembled, a series of cavities is formed along the helical curve of the power section. Each of the cavities is sealed from adjacent cavities by seal lines. Seal lines are formed along the contact line between the rotor and stator and are critical to power section performance as will be discussed later.

ROTORS STATORS
ROTORS
STATORS

Figure 2. Various Lobe Configurations.

The centerline of the rotor is offset from the center of the stator by a fixed value known as the

“eccentricity” of the power section. When the rotor turns inside the stator, its center moves in a circular motion about the center of the stator. Rotation of the rotor about its own axis occurs simultaneously but it is opposite to the rotation of the rotor center about the stator center. Figures 3 and 4 illustrate

two positions of a power section rotor within its corresponding stator.

stator is a heat-treated steel tube lined with a helical-shaped elastomeric insert. Figure 1 is a
Figure 3. Rotor with Lobe “A” Fully Inserted in Stator Lobe. Figure 4. Rotor Position Rotated
Figure 3.
Rotor with Lobe “A” Fully Inserted
in Stator Lobe.
Figure 4.
Rotor Position Rotated Approximately
20 Degrees from Position in Figure 3.

During drilling operations, high pressure fluid is pumped into the top end of the power section where it fills the first set of open cavities. The pressure differential across two adjacent cavities forces the rotor to turn and as this occurs, adjacent cavities are opened allowing the fluid to flow progressively down the length of the power section. Opening and closing of the cavities occur in a continuous, pulsationless manner causing the rotor to rotate at a speed that is proportional to drilling fluid flow rate (Equation 1). This action converts fluid hydraulic energy into mechanical energy. As shown in Equation 2, the torque of a power section is proportional to cavity volume and differential pressure across the power section.

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W = [231*Q/ (N * Vc)]*S P T = (N*Vc* P)/24

(1)

(2)

Cavity volume is purely a function of power section design. As shown above, it is defined as pumping (cavity cross sectional) area multiplied by stator pitch. Moineau theory defines the maximum pumping area that can be obtained within a given stator tube diameter. Power section speed is inversely proportional to stator pitch length. Figure 5 illustrates the effect of pitch length on rotor speed at a given fluid flow rate.

1 0 4:5 LOBE 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 ROTOR SPEED NORMALIZED
1
0
4:5 LOBE
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
ROTOR SPEED
NORMALIZED

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NORMALIZED STATOR PITCH

Figure 5.

Reduction in Rotor Speed with Increasing Stator Pitch.

Pressure Rating and Slip The recommended differential pressure of a power section is the summation of the pressure ratings for each individual stage. Although the definition of a stage is somewhat arbitrary, it is typically defined as one pitch length of the stator. The pressure differential rating for an individual stage generally ranges from 100 to 300 dpsi and depends on number of lobes, pitch length, compression fit, and elastomer physical properties. For a power section, at otherwise identical conditions, higher pressure per stage usually means lower stator life. This will be discussed later.

The pressure rating is the differential pressure at which a power section should operate to achieve optimum stator life. However, it is not uncommon during aggressive drilling to run power sections well above the maximum pressure rating. In many cases users will target operation at differential pressures just below stalling conditions. This practice does result in significant reduction of stator life.

Slip is caused when high pressure fluid blows by rotor and stator seal lines. Slip results in power section speed reduction and is defined as the percent reduction in rotor speed below maximum theoretical

for a given flowrate. The following table

summarizes the impact of different design and

operating parameters on power section slip.

Table I. Parameters Affecting Slip.

Parameter

 

Pressure differential increase

Effect on Slip Increase

 

Decrease

Compression fit increase Rubber modulus increase

Decrease

Flow rate increase

No change

Rotor/Stator wear

Increase

Stator expansion due to temperature or chemical swell

Decrease

During drilling, differential pressure and slip increase as the load on the bit increases. This causes the rotor speed to slow down until at some point above maximum rated pressure, the power section stalls. Once the motor is stalled, all drilling fluid blows by the seal lines. The differential pressure at which stall is reached can be increased by increasing compression fit between the rotor and stator. Figure 6 shows the impact of a large fit variation on power section speed and torque output. If the rotor-stator fit becomes too tight, stator life will be significantly reduced. Optimal fit provides a slip efficiency that is a compromise of stall margin at maximum rated pressure and stator life.

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1 0 TIGHT LOOSE SPEED TORQUE 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 NORMALIZED
1
0
TIGHT
LOOSE
SPEED
TORQUE
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
NORMALIZED ROTOR SPEED
1
0
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
NORMALIZED TORQUE
0.4
0.8
0.6
0.2
0
1

NORMALIZED DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE

Figure 6.

Effect of Fit on Power Section Performance.

Figures 7 and 8 are performance charts for a typical power section. As the load on bit is increased, the differential pressure across the power section and torque output increase while the rotor speed decreases. The full load curve represents the maximum recommended differential pressure at which the power section should be operated. Note that the pressure rating decreases as flow rate and rotor speed increase. The reason for derating a power section is to achieve longer life. This will be explained in more detail later.

LINE MAX P 50 INCREASING FLOWRATE 0 250 200 150 100 (RPM) ROTOR SPEED 500 200
LINE
MAX
P
50
INCREASING
FLOWRATE
0
250
200
150
100
(RPM)
ROTOR SPEED
500
200
300
400
100
0

DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE (PSI)

Figure 7.

Typical Power Section Performance.

300 LOSSES P 0 50 EFFECTIVE INCREASING FLOWRATE OFF-BOTTOM PRESSURE 450 400 350 250 200 150
300
LOSSES
P
0
50
EFFECTIVE
INCREASING
FLOWRATE
OFF-BOTTOM
PRESSURE
450
400
350
250
200
150
100
TORQUE (FT-LB)
500
200
400
300
100
0

DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE (PSI)

Figure 8. Typical Power Section Performance.

Figure 8 shows that torque output of a power section increases essentially linearly with increasing differential pressure across a power section. The pressure losses shown are the combined effects of flow losses in the entrance region of the power section and of frictional losses between the rotor and stator. The losses are quantified as the differential pressure required to start the rotor turning and are dependent on drilling fluid flowrate. In the example above, the losses range from 50 psi at the lowest flowrate to 120 psi at the highest flowrate. The differential pressure needed for start- up does not contribute to torque generation by the

power section. For example, if a power section is

operated at 400 psi differential pressure and the

start-up differential pressure is 100 psi, the

differential pressure that is effectively generating

power is 300 psi.

FAILURE MECHANISMS

One of the most challenging aspects of utilizing power sections for drilling operations is understanding and predicting failure. Power section failures are primarily due to destruction of the stator elastomer. Rotor failures due to wear or chemical attack are rare compared to stator failures and are not discussed in this paper. Elastomer failures may be classified as those which result in a reduction in performance and those which are catastrophic. In

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many cases continued operation under conditions of reduced performance will lead to catastrophic failure. Each type of failure may be caused by a variety of reasons. In the following sections, key stator failure mechanisms and the factors that influence them are categorized.

Mechanical and Fatigue Mechanical failure of the stator elastomer occurs when the elastomer is overloaded beyond its stress and strain limits. Any number of the following factors may contribute to premature stator mechanical failures: 1) excessive pressure during aggressive drilling operations; 2) repeated stalling; or 3) high compression fit between rotor and stator. Each of these factors results in overstrain of the

stator lobes beyond their mechanical limits. Figure

  • 9 is an illustration of a stator that failed under high

mechanical loading. In some cases, power section stators can fail due to fatigue at mechanical loading conditions well below the rubber tear strength.

many cases continued operation under conditions of reduced performance will lead to catastrophic failure. Each type

Figure 9. Chunked Stator Due to Overpressure.

Fatigue failures are the result of high cyclic loading on the stator elastomer due to rotor speed. Equation

  • 3 defines the loading frequency for a power section stator.

F = (RPM/60)* N

(3)

The cyclic loading simply defines the number of times a stator lobe is flexed in a unit of time. As the

number of power section lobes increases, fatigue life decreases because the loading frequency increases. One method for compensating for this is to reduce rotor speed. At high loading frequencies, the strain and strain rates on the elastomer will be sufficient to promote the initiation and propagation of microscopic cracks in the stator lobes. This phenomenon, known as fatigue crack growth, occurs under high strain and strain rate depending on the elastomer tear strength and strain energy release rate. If the elastomer is subjected to strain below the critical level, the onset of fatigue crack growth may not occur even at very high frequencies. However, at strains above the critical level, cracks will initiate in the high strain region, usually in the bottom of the stator lobes, and the crack growth rate will depend on the cyclic rate of loading. Figure 10 illustrates failure of a stator operated above the critical strain level for a given loading frequency.

FATIGUE CRACKS AT BOTTOM OF LOBES
FATIGUE
CRACKS AT
BOTTOM
OF LOBES

Figure 10.

Failed Stator Due to Fatigue Crack Growth.

Thermal and Hysteresis Failures

Thermal failures occur when stator elastomer temperature exceeds its rated temperature for a prolonged duration. Stator elastomer physical properties usually weaken as temperature increases. The weakening of the elastomer properties results in shortened stator life. High elastomer temperatures

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may be due to down-hole temperature, hysteresis heat, or the combination of both.

Exposure to the down-hole temperature will cause the stator elastomer to expand which tightens compression fit. Degradation of elastomer physical properties will occur if the down-hole temperature is above the temperature rating of the elastomer.

Hysteresis heat generation is due to repeated flexing of the stator lobes by the rotor and the pressurized fluid. Because elastomers are visco-elastic materials, a portion of the flexing energy is converted into thermal energy. Equation 4 from Reference 1 can be used to estimate hysteresis heat generation within elastomers.

H = 2100* G’ * tan * 2 * F (4) The location of peak hysteresis heat build-up is near the center of the stator lobes. The strain in this region combined with the low thermal conductivity of elastomers result in this heat build-up. Figure 11 shows the temperature distribution within a typical stator due to hysteresis heat build-up. Note the 30 degree F temperature build-up due to hysteresis. The heat build-up increases as power section speed, pressure differential, or compression fit is increased. The maximum temperature within the stator may exceed the elastomer’s temperature rating, even if the down-hole temperature is well within the operating limits of the stator. Therefore, at elevated down-hole temperatures, power section life may be prolonged if the power sections are operated at slow speed or low differential pressure.

may be due to down-hole temperature, hysteresis heat, or the combination of both. Exposure to the

Figure 11.

Hysteresis Heat Build-up Within Stator Elastomer.

In all the cases described above, the result of elastomer temperature exceeding its temperature rating is: 1) the reduction of elastomer physical properties; and 2) the expansion of the elastomer which tightens rotor/stator compression fit. The combined thermal and mechanical effects significantly reduce stator life. Using an oversize stator is one method for compensating for increased fit due to elastomer expansion.

Chemicals and Aromatics Drilling fluids are composed of many different chemicals and are uniquely designed to improve drilling penetration rate, prevent formation damage, allow easy clean-up, and facilitate other drilling requirements. Some of the chemicals, synthetic oils, or aromatics used in drilling fluids weaken the rubber molecular chain resulting in reduction in rubber physical properties and shrinkage or swell. Weakening of the rubber combined with a change in compression fit due to shrinkage or swell will accelerate stator failure. Figure 12 shows an

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example of change in elastomer properties when exposed to a common drilling fluid at 4000 psi and 300 degrees F. Discussions related to the elastomer compatibility with various drilling fluids is outside the scope of this paper.

4000 psi at 300 Deg F

Nitrile HNBR 0 60 50 40 30 20 10 % LOSS IN PHYSICAL PROPERTIES Drilling Drilling
Nitrile
HNBR
0
60
50
40
30
20
10
% LOSS IN PHYSICAL
PROPERTIES
Drilling
Drilling
Fluid 1
Fluid 2

Figure 12.

Effect of Drilling Fluid on Elastomer Properties.

STATOR LIFE OPTIMIZATION

Stator life is critical to all drilling operations. In

order to achieve optimum life, stators must be designed and operated with knowledge of the factors that influence life. The following section describes these factors and how each is accounted for in design practices to optimize power section life.

Rotor/Stator Interference Fit Interference (compression) fit is probably the most critical factor that determines stator life. Optimum fit provides a balance between frictional losses, power section efficiency, and stator life. If the interference is higher than optimal, power section efficiency increases because of reduced fluid slip between cavities (see Figure 6). At high interference, frictional losses and rubber strain increase dramatically, and stator life is degraded due to high strain conditions. Laboratory tests show that stator life is significantly reduced if compression fit

is “too loose” or “too tight.” Figure 13 shows the normalized data obtained in the lab.

1 0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 STATOR LIFE NORMALIZED 0.5 1.5 0 2 1
1
0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
STATOR LIFE
NORMALIZED
0.5
1.5
0
2
1

NORMALIZED OPTIMUM COMPRESSION FIT

Figure 13.

Stator Life is Reduced if Compression Fit is “Too Loose” or “Too Tight.”

In cases where the interference is lower than optimal, power section efficiency drops due to slippage of high pressure fluid between cavities and stator life decreases due to increased susceptibility to stalls and stator wear.

The power section design process involves selecting a compression fit that will provide optimal stator life at a specific down-hole temperature. Fit selection is made based on test data, field data, and experience. Design parameters such as lobe configuration, stator pitch, and elastomer type are also considered in the fit selection process.

After the power section design process has been completed and rotors and stators have been manufactured, proper rotor/stator fit must be selected depending on the drilling conditions. Power section manufacturers offer various rotor and stator sizes to accommodate fit selection for different applications. For example, a standard rotor and stator may be used at a circulating temperature of 150 degrees F while a standard rotor and an oversize (OS) stator is used to achieve the same performance and stator life at 250 degrees F.

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Oversize stators are also utilized when using drilling fluids that are known to cause elastomer swell.

Accurate measurements of rotor and stator sizes are important in power section fit selection. Variations in stator sizes of as little as 0.005-0.010 inches can result in significant changes in performance and stator life. Accurate measurement of stator profile size and shape is extremely difficult because: 1) there are size changes with variations in ambient temperature and humidity; 2) the internal geometry of the stator is complex; 3) the elastomer flexes during measurement; and 4) measurement techniques vary. Most manufacturers of power sections provide rotor and stator dimensions so that the operators can match the rotor and stator to achieve the desired fit for the particular application.

Operating Conditions Running a power section at or below maximum recommended pressure is the primary operational consideration that must be made to maximize stator life. Excessive differential pressure during drilling causes extreme deformation of the stator lobes resulting in premature mechanical failures.

Consideration must also be made during drilling operations for rotor speed. As shown in Figure 7, the differential pressure rating for a power section decreases as rotor speed (flow rate) increases. The reason power section pressure differential is derated with increasing rotor speed is to offset the effect of increased rubber strain rates. If the maximum pressure rating is not derated at high rotor speed, stator life will be reduced.

Elastomers Power section stators are commonly made with nitriles (NBR) because of their excellent physical properties and oil resistance. Nitrile rubbers (NBR) are manufactured by copolymerization of butadiene with acrylonitrile (ACN). Typical stator rubber compound consists of a nitrile base polymer, reinforcing materials, curatives, accelerators, and

plasticizers. Rubber compound formulations are proprietary to power section manufacturers and are designed to address different applications.

The majority of stator elastomer properties are determined by the base polymer used in the compound. All nitrile polymers are prepared with varying ratios of ACN. The amount of oil and solvent resistance is based on the ACN content of the polymer. Compounds with 25 to 35 percent

ACN content are “medium”, and compounds with 35 to 50 percent ACN are known as “high” ACN compounds.

Hydrogenated nitriles (HNBR) are produced by introducing hydrogen to dissolved nitrile elastomers to improve its physical properties. The HNBR properties that are most relevant to power section stators are high tensile strength, high modulus retention at elevated temperatures, high hot tear resistance, improved oil and solvent resistance over NBRs, and heat resistance. The hydrogenation level of an HNBR varies from 80 to 99 percent. HNBRs with 90 percent or higher hydrogenation are sometimes referred to as Highly Saturated Nitriles or HSN.

A stator rubber compound is designed for different drilling applications. Typically, HSNs are used for high temperature applications and high ACN compounds are used for applications with more aromatic oil-based drilling fluids. Compound design will determine rubber properties such as tensile strength, hysteresis heat build-up, fatigue life, and modulus retention all of which are critical to a power section’s operation and life.

ANALYTICAL MODELLING

The following section describes a method for predicting stator life under various operational conditions. The results may be used as a guideline to maximize stator life.

Analytical technique for stator life prediction

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A non-linear finite element analysis (FEA) approach can be used to predict the elastomer strain levels of a typical power section with various interference fits, at different operational and down-hole conditions, and for different rotor positions within the stator. The calculated strain state can then be utilized as input for predicting hysteresis heat build- up within the elastomer. Earlier work (Delpassand, 1995) describes the two-part analysis used to calculate heat build-up within stator elastomers.

Iterations

Operating Design Conditions Parameters Elastomer Strain and Strain Rate Hysteresis Heat Build- Iterations up Mechanical Strain
Operating
Design
Conditions
Parameters
Elastomer
Strain and
Strain Rate
Hysteresis
Heat Build-
Iterations
up
Mechanical
Strain and
Stress
Laboratory
Data
Empirical
Life
Prediction

Figure 14. Life Prediction Analysis Flow Chart.

Next, empirical data may be employed to determine the physical property reduction of an elastomer as temperature increases. Finally, an estimate of stator life can be made based on the stress and strain of the elastomer at the temperature generated within the center of the stator lobes.

At

the

strain

levels

encountered

in

the

stator

elastomer

at

down-hole

conditions,

the

material

properties are non-linear. This is shown in

Delpassand (1995). elastomer properties

Therefore, use of non-linear

as

determined through

laboratory testing is important in order to achieve accurate results.

To conduct FEA, geometrical and thermal boundary conditions must be simulated. The structural boundary conditions imposed on the stator elastomer are compression fit between the rotor and stator, hydraulic pressure across the stator lobes from the drilling fluid, and elastomer-to-tube bond. Radial forces caused by the eccentric motion of the rotor can be ignored for smaller power sections.

The thermal boundary conditions on the stator are

forced convection between the drilling fluid and the internal surfaces of the stator and the tube outside

wall. Hysteresis heat input to the elastomer is

calculated using Equation 4.

Results

The following section provides an example of the

stator life prediction method described above.

Table II lists the selected operating conditions for

the analysis.

Table II. Example Operating Conditions.

PARAMETER

 

Elastomer

Typical Nitrile

Ambient Compression Fit [in]

0.010

Circulating Temp [degrees F]

150

 

250

Rotor Speed [rpm] Differential Pressure per Stage [psi]

125

Figure 15 illustrates the predicted strain state in the elastomer of a 5-lobe stator at the down-hole operating conditions in Table II and with the rotor in the top dead center (TDC) position. For the purpose of analysis, the rotor position which resulted in the highest strain levels was utilized in heat generation predictions.

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High strain region where fatigue cracks typically form. Figure 15. Strain State with Rotor in TDC
High strain
region where
fatigue cracks
typically form.
Figure 15.
Strain State with Rotor in TDC
Position. Lighter Sections Show
Higher Strain.
Elastomer deflection due to compression.
Elastomer
deflection due
to compression.

Figure 16.

Elastomer Deflection with Rotor Position 15degrees from TDC.

Figure 16 shows the rubber deflection and strain at the above conditions but with the rotor positioned 15 degrees from TDC.

Figure

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illustrates

the predicted temperature

distribution within the stator elastomer at the selected conditions. In the example given, the

temperature within the center of the stator lobes is 30 degrees higher than the circulating temperature.

The foregoing figures illustrate the effect of design

and operating conditions on the heat generation within the elastomer of a stator. Figure 17 shows the strain-energy capability of a typical nitrile as a function of elastomer temperature. Strain energy is defined as the area under the rubber stress-strain curve.

HNBR 0 Nitrile 500 400 300 200 100 STRAIN ENERGY (KPSI) 150 200 250 300 TEMPERATURE
HNBR
0
Nitrile
500
400
300
200
100
STRAIN ENERGY (KPSI)
150
200
250
300
TEMPERATURE (F)

Figure 17. Elastomer Strain Energy Capability.

Finally, knowledge of elastomer strain energy

reduction due to temperature can be correlated to

stator life. Table III shows an example of stator life

prediction data for a 6.75” diameter 4:5 lobe power section. In the cases selected, FEA was used to

predict the rubber strain and temperature build-up at various circulating temperatures, pressures per

stage, and rotor speeds. The predicted maximum

stator temperature was then used in conjunction with Figure 17 to determine the rubber strain energy. Finally, the results were correlated with stator life test data collected under the first set of conditions in Table III. The analysis does not include the impact of drilling fluid compatibility or any other specific operating conditions.

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Table III. Life Prediction For 6.75” 4:5 Lobe.

         

Rubber

   

Circulating

Pressure

Rotor

Maximum

Normalized

Strain

Stator Life

Temperature

per Stage

Speed

Stator

Rubber

Energy

Normalized

Estimates

(F)

(PSI)

(RPM)

Temp (F)

Strain

(KPSI)

Stator Life

(hours)

150

100

400

238

1

125

 

500

200

200

400

344

2.3

   

87

200

100

600

332

1.2

     

250

100

400

338

1.3

     
 

1

 

49

0.17

52

0.33

167

51

0.31

154

 

and 19

illustrate a few

of

the test

 

recently obtained

in

the

laboratory.

The

 

of

rotor

speed

and

 

120

4:5 LOBE 200 psi 100 psi 50 psi 0 psi
4:5 LOBE
200
psi
100
psi
50 psi
0
psi
 

110

ELASTOMER

TEMP (F)

100

90

80

70

 

60

 

0

200

400

600

800

1000

 

ROTOR SPEED (RPM)

 

The figures 18

results

figures show the effect

differential pressure on heat build-up within the

elastomer.

Figure 18. Heat Generation Due to Rotor Speed.

STATOR TEMP 0 100 800 600 300 200 700 400 500 100 120 0 INCREASE (F)
STATOR TEMP
0
100
800
600
300
200
700
400
500
100
120
0
INCREASE (F)
20
40
60
80
7:8 LOBE, 450 GPM
TEST DATA

DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE (PSI)

Figure 19.

Heat Generation Due to Differential Pressure.

CONCLUSIONS

Power section stators

typically fail

due

to

high

mechanical loading, fatigue,

drilling

fluid

incompatibility, or high temperature. Mechanical failures occur when the stator elastomer is overloaded beyond its stress and strain levels. Excessive pressures, repeated stalls, or too much

compression between rotor and stator result in a

mechanical failure. Fatigue failures occur when elastomer strains are above critical limits and the stator lobes are subject to high cyclic loading. Cracks due to fatigue are often initiated in the transition between the crests and valleys of the stator lobes and lead to stator failure. Some of the chemicals and oils used in drilling fluids change the physical properties of the stator elastomers.

Weakening of the rubber combined with a change in

the compression fit due to shrinkage or swell will

accelerate stator failure. High temperature is one of

the most important parameters leading to a power

section stator failure. High elastomer temperatures

are due to down-hole conditions, hysteresis heat

build-up, or the combination of both. At elevated temperatures, elastomer properties are degraded and all failure modes are accelerated.

In order to maximize stator life, compression fit between the rotor and stator must be selected for the down-hole conditions. In addition, power section

differential pressure should be reduced as rotor speed is increased to maintain stator life. Finally,

the stator elastomer must be carefully selected to

insure compatibility with the drilling fluid.

REFERENCES

Delpassand, Majid, 1995, “Mud Motor Stator

Temperature Analysis Technique”, ASME Drilling Technology, Book No. H00920.

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