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ALUMINUM ALLOY

DRILL PIPE
T E C H N I C A L G U I D E
V E R S I O N 2 . 0
ABOUT ALCOA OIL AND GAS
Whether its strong, light weight Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe,
subsea riser systems, or engineered forgings and extrusions,
Alcoa Oil and Gas offers customized solutions to challenges
facing the oil and gas industry. We tackle unique
applications and demanding challenges head-on. And we
bring a higher level of thinking and a wealth of resources to
solve the toughest problems, from design to delivery.
This forward-thinking mindset is evident in our advanced
Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe, offering the highest strength-
to-weight ratio in the industry. Designed for use in many
extreme ERD operations, Alcoa Aluminum Alloy Drill pipe
promises to be the drill string of choice for productivity-
focused exploration and drilling companies now, and
in the future.
In addition to best-in-class Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe, Alcoas
aluminum alloy technology enables the construction of high-
strength, low-weight risers, already proven in demanding
deep water applications. Our leading-edge extrusion and
forging capabilities help our customers dramatically reduce
manufacturing costs, increase capacity and throughput, and
improve product performance. And our fabricated products
encompass advanced, engineered fasteners and investment
castings as well as at and rolled products.
Supporting our product offerings is the Alcoa Technical
Center (ATC), a resource for the development of products
that help our customers solve a problem or enhance a
product. The ATC is a true demonstration of our commitment
to building and maintaining a close working relationship
with our customers.
No other company can match the combination of Alcoas
deep materials know-how and advanced facilities and
processes. And no one else combines all this with an intense
focus on sustainability.
Whats your toughest E&P challenge?
Problem solved, with Alcoa.
Problem solved.
CONTENTS
Introduction 4
Mechanical and Physical Properties 6
Weight Savings Aluminum vs Steel 7
Effect of Elevated Temperature 8
Temperature Inuence on Properties 9
Fatigue Performance 10
Corrosion Properties; Internal Coating 11
Tool Joints 12
Buoyancy 14
Operating Practices 15
Mixed Strings; Straightening; Stretch;
Equipment Modication 15
Drilling Line; Rotary Slips 16
Inspections;
Blowout Preventers 17
General Practices; Racking Board and Rig Floor;
Top Drives 18
Handling
Automatic Tongs; Elevators; Dual Elevators 18

4
INTRODUCTION
The Strength of Steel at Half the Weight.
Lightweight, advanced Alcoa Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe provides the highest strength-to-weight ratio in the industry.
Its up to 40% lighter (dry weight) and more than 50% lighter (wet weight) than E-Grade steel drill pipe. That
means superior horizontal and directional drilling performance until now, unmatched in the industry.
Incorporating best-in-class aluminum alloy drill pipe in your drilling program means youll be able to reach deeper
and get there faster than with traditional steel drill strings. Drill to much greater depths with existing assets all
without sacricing performance or reliability.
Because of its high strength-to-weight ratio, Alcoa Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe provides for more pipe down hole to
reach ultra-deep reserves or to engage directional drilling programs previously considered unworkable.
With 100+ years of proven metallurgical success in demanding aerospace, defense, and transportation applications,
Alcoa is highly qualied to support the increasingly difcult drilling applications involved in todays high-demand
search for oil and gas.
5
Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe Advantages
Throughout the world, aluminum alloy drill strings are successfully
hard at work both on land and offshore. In the eld, Alcoa
Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe offers quantiable and signicant
advantages when compared to steel pipe:
Lower weight / increased rig capacity
Superior horizontal drilling characteristics
Optimized hydraulic design
Improved ergonomics and operating safety
Generally, the higher initial cost of aluminum drill pipe is more
than offset by substantial savings in operation. In many cases,
rig capacity can be upgraded by 50 to 100 percent, and the rig
investment cost for given depth capacities can be signicantly cut.
Trip time, rig-up, and transportation costs can also be reduced,
along with the price of wireline services.
The budget for pipe inspection and maintenance costs is generally
lower. In addition, the greater exibility of aluminum drill pipe
reduces rotating torque and extends fatigue life, making it ideal
for extended reach drilling.
While the substitution of aluminum for steel drill pipe can result in
operating cost savings, maximum economic gains can be realized
by properly matching the aluminum drill pipe to related drilling
project factors. As a premier alloy developer, Alcoa is able to parlay
its unmatched experience in alloy development to custom tailor
alloys that withstand the rigors of even the most demanding
drilling applications.
Alcoa stands ready to develop solutions that meet todays most
demanding drilling applications. Contact your Alcoa representative
for information concerning Alcoa Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe and
your next drilling program.
Super Shrink grip connection
to API steel tool joint
Tapered design to ensure strength
where required without adding
unnecessary weight
Internally coated for corrosion
resistance on the full ID
of the pipe
6
MECHANICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
2014 Alloy Drill Pipe 5-1/2 in 5 in 4-1/2 in 4 in 3-1/2 in
Dimensions and Weights
Pipe Body
Outside Diameter (in) 5.68 5.15 4.60 4.20 3.70
Inside Diameter (in) 4.68 4.10 3.60 3.28 2.68
Wall Thickness (in) 0.50 0.525 0.500 0.460 0.513
Land Outside Diameter (in) 6.13 5.69 5.03 4.63 3.88
Length Shoulder to Shoulder (in) 30 30 30 30 30
Weight per Foot
Pipe Only in Air (lb/ft) 10.7 10.2 8.4 7.1 6.4
Pipe with Tool Joints in Air (lb/ft) 14.6 13.7 11.3 9.5 7.8
Pipe with Tool Joints in 10 lb Mud (lb/ft) 9.4 8.8 7.3 6.1 4.9
Pipe with Tool Joints in 12 lb Mud (lb/ft) 8.4 7.9 6.5 5.4 4.3
Pipe with Tool Joints in 14 lb Mud (lb/ft) 7.4 6.9 5.6 4.7 3.7
Weight of 30 Ft Joint
In Air (lbf) 439 412 339 285 235
In 10 lb Mud (lbf) 283 265 218 183 146
Volumes
Open Volume (in
3
) 3,601 3,396 2,805 2,358 2,053
Closed Volume (in
3
) 9,780 8,147 6,468 5,398 4,076
Drill Pipe Section Properties
Tension
Minimum Yield Load (lbf) 472,000 442,000 374,000 313,000 298,000
Minimum Breaking Load (lbf) 521,000 488,000 412,000 346,000 328,000
Typical Breaking Load (lbf) 605,000 567,000 479,000 402,000 381,000
Torsional Yield Strength (ft-lbf) 54,100 44,700 33,300 25,500 20,200
Resistance to Collapse (psi) 8,600 10,700 11,700 11,800 15,600
Internal Pressure:
Yield (psi) 8,900 10,300 11,000 11,100 14,100
Burst (psi) 9,900 11,400 12,200 12,300 15,500
Stretch per 1000 ft
With 1000 lbf Load in Air (ft) 0.011 0.011 0.013 0.016 0.018
In 10 lb Mud (ft) 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.5 3.2
Pipe Elements
Area (in
2
) 8.137 7.628 6.440 5.405 5.132
Moment of Inertia, I (in
4
) 27.545 20.659 13.734 9.593 6.686
Section Modulus, S (in
3
) 9.699 8.023 5.971 4.568 3.614
Radius of Gyration (in) 1.840 1.646 1.460 1.332 1.141
Polar Moment of Inertia, J (in
4
) 55.091 41.319 27.468 19.186 13.373
Polar Section Modulus (in
3
) 19.398 16.046 11.942 9.136 7.228
- All data based on nominal dimensions and calculated per standard methods unless otherwise noted. Pipe properties based on pipe body dimensions
(non-upset area).
- Internal Pressure calculated per API Bulletin 5C3 which includes a 12.5% knockdown.
- Collapse calculated per Murphey, C. E., and Langner, C.G., Ultimate Pipe Strength Under Bending, Collapse and Fatigue, ASME, Proceeding 4th
International Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering Symposium, Dallas, February 1985.
- All data nominal and calculated per standard methods. Alcoa does not assume responsibility for results obtained through the use of this information. No
warranty is expressed or implied.
7
MECHANICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
AIuminum
E-75 Steel
Weight savings
70.2 (K lbf)
Weight savings
78.7 (K lbf)
Weight savings
94.7 (K lbf)
250,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000
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Weight Savings
2014 Aluminum Alloy vs. E-75 Drill Pipe
Weight per 10,000 ft. in Air (includes tool joints)
4 4.5 5
AIuminum
E-75 Steel
Weight savings
70.2 (K lbf)
Weight savings
78.7 (K lbf)
Weight savings
94.7 (K lbf)
250,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000
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Weight Savings
2014 Aluminum Alloy vs. E-75 Drill Pipe
Weight per 10,000 ft. in Air (includes tool joints)
4 4.5 5
Mechanical Properties of
2014 Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe
Tensile Strength, minimum psi. 64,000
Yield Strength, minimum psi. 58,000
Elongation, minimum % in 2" 7
Shear Yield Strength, minimum psi. 33,000
Brinell Hardness, typical 135
Modulus of Elasticity, typical psi. 10.6 x 10
6
Composition of
2014 Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe
Silicon 0.501.2
Iron 0.7 max.
Copper 3.95.0
Manganese 0.401.2
Magnesium 0.200.8
Chromium 0.10 max.
Zinc 0.25 max.
Titanium 0.20 max.
Zirconium 0.20 max.
Otherseach 0.05 max
Total 0.15 max.
Aluminum remainder
Range II Steel Pipe:
4 in 14.00 E-75 EU NC46 (6 in OD x 3-1/4 in ID, Pin Tong 9 in, Box Tong 12 in)
4-1/2 in 16.60 E-75 EU NC50 (6-5/8 in OD x 3-3/4 in ID, Pin Tong 9 in, Box Tong 12 in)
5 in 19.50 E-75 IEU 5-1/2FH (7 in OD x 4.1 in ID, Pin Tong 10 in, Box Tong 12 in)
8
MECHANICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
TEMPERATURE AT BIT INTERFACE
WHILE DRILLING,
ABOUT 100-150F BELOW
BOMB TEST
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150F
200F
250- 300 F
BOTTOM JOINT OF DRILL PIPE
LOWER TEMPERATURE THAN
TOP OF COLLARS DUE TO
CONDUCTION OF ALUMINUM
IN THE CIRCULATING FLUID
AT TOP OF COLLARS TEMPERATURE
ABOUT 100- 150F LOWER THAN AT BIT
WHILE DRILLING WITH FLUID CIRCULATION

1
2
3
Effect of Elevated Temperatures
On Aluminum Drill Pipe
Aluminum 2014 drill pipe has operated satisfactorily in wells
where the bottom hole temperature was as high as 300 F.
The efcient heat-conducting properties of aluminum drill pipe
aid the normal transfer of heat away from high temperature
zones, thus reducing the likelihood of exceeding the allowable
temperature of the metal. Actual string temperatures actually
appear to be 100F-150F lower than bottom hole temperatures.
(See illustrations shown on this page for additional explanation)
Prolonged exposure of the drill pipe under lost circulation
conditions at elevated temperatures should be avoided. See
alloy data page 9 for resultant loss of tensile yield strength.
No failures of aluminum drill pipe resulting from exposure
to elevated temperatures during drilling have been observed
or reported.
Contact your Alcoa Oil and Gas representative for specic
temperature limitations for your application.
Box end of Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe
Pin end of Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe
9
Temperature Inuence on Mechanical Properties
The properties of aluminum alloys, similar to other metallic
materials, are dependent upon the temperature to which the
alloy is exposed, and the cumulative amount of time exposed to
that elevated temperature. Under low temperature conditions,
aluminum drill pipe actually gains strength and toughness. At
elevated temperatures a permanent loss of strength can occur,
depending on the length of time at the exposure temperature.
As a result, extended use of drill pipe at temperatures above
250F to 300F should be avoided in order to prevent a
permanent loss in properties. However, no failures of aluminum
drill pipe, resulting from exposure to low or elevated temperatures,
have been reported.
Effect of Temperature on Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe
Temperature
Time at
Temp
% Room Temperature Property
at Elevated Temperature
% Room Temperature Property After
Exposure to Elevated Temperature
(F) (C) (hr) Tensile Yield Elong. (4D)* Tensile Yield Elong. (4D)
-320 -196 0 122% 122% 110% -- -- --
-112 -80 0 105% 106% 100% -- -- --
-18 -28 0 103% 101% 100% -- -- --
212 100 10 87% 90% 140% 100% 100% 100%
212 100 100 87% 90% 140% 100% 100% 100%
212 100 10,000 86% 88% 150% 99% 100% 100%
300 149 10 75% 77% 160% 99% 101% 100%
300 149 100 74% 75% 160% 92% 93% 100%
300 149 10,000 53% 51% 200% 70% 58% 120%
Reference:
Kaufman, J.G., Properties of Aluminum Alloys: Tensile, Creep, and Fatigue Data at High and Low Temperatures, The Aluminum Association, Inc.,
and ASM International, pg. 29, 1999
*Elongation determined over gauge length equal to four times the pipe diameter.
MECHANICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Extruded aluminum alloy tube at Alcoas Lafayette, IN plant
10
FATIGUE PERFORMANCE
The bands shown above were developed by Reynolds International Inc., and are based on rotating
beam testing of 4-1/2 drill pipe.
*(Source: J. E. Mansford and A. Lubinsky Society of Petroleum Engineers Proceedings 1965)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
10,000 100,000 1,000,000 10,000,000
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Cycles
Scatter Bands for 2014 4-1/2 in Aluminum Drill Pipe
with 4-1/2IF Tool Joints tested at Room Temperature with 4-1/2IF Tool Joints tested at Room Temperature
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DOG-LEG SEVERITY
DEGREES/100 FEET
Percent Fatigue Life 2014
Expended in a 30 Foot Interval
Aluminum Alloy
0 50 100
10
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DOG-LEG SEVERITY
DEGREES/100 FEET
Percentage Fatigue Life
Expended in a 30 Foot Interval
Steel
0 50 100
3
Fatigue Damage of 4-1/2" Grade E
drill pipe in gradual dog-legs (non-
corrosive environment: Rotary
Speed, 100 RPM; drilling rate 10 ft./
hr.; and mud, 10 lb./gal.)*
Fatigue Damage of 4-1/2" aluminum
drill pipe in gradual dog-legs (Rotary
speed, 100 RPM; drilling rate 10 ft./hr.;
and mud, 10 lb./gal.)*
11
CORROSION PROPERTIES
On the basis of eld experience, aluminum 2014 alloy drill pipe has
performed satisfactorily with the following types of drilling mud:
1. Natural muds with fresh water, gel, and starches, with a pH
range of 7 to 10.
2. Gyp-type muds containing sodium chloride up to 25,000 ppm,
with a pH range of 7 to 10.5.
3. Salt muds containing up to 180,000 ppm sodium chloride with
a pH range of 7.5 to 9.
On the basis of laboratory testing, 2014 aluminum alloy drill pipe
has performed well in the following types of drill muds.
1. Barite/Lignite based mud systems, made with fresh water or
seawater, with a pH range of 7-10.
2. Diesel Oil based muds with a pH range of 8-10.
3. Synthetic Oil (olen) based muds with a pH of 8-10.
The high pHs (above 10) used with steel drill pipe and other down
hole tubulars to help control steel corrosion and cracking can be
detrimental to aluminum drill pipe. If possible, drilling uid pH
should be kept at or below 10 and should not exceed 10.5 for
signicant times, in order to avoid chemically milling the outside of
the aluminum pipe. Short duration high pH excursions should affect
aluminum only during the excursions. Field experience indicates
that aluminum drill pipe will not suffer corrosion-related failures
and will give continued satisfactory performance following its
short-term use in high pH drilling uids.
Because of the importance of pH in controlling the corrosion of
aluminum drill pipe, determination of pH should be made regularly,
using well established procedures. Electrometric measurements are
most accurate. However, indicator paper, properly used, will sufce.
Internal Coating
Aluminum drill pipe is furnished with an internal coating. This
tough, resilient, chemically inert, elastic material is capable of
withstanding the exing of the drill pipe as well as resisting the
velocity and erosion effects of abrasive lling uids within the
temperature range recommended for drill pipe.
Based on experience, this coating will prolong the life of aluminum
drill pipe and maintain its hydraulic efciency. In addition, it will
permit greater variations in mud chemistry and minimize corrosion
hazards from mud residues in pipe on the racks. To protect the bore
coating, use properly modied inside tools and coated wirelines
slowly to prevent coating damage. Do not insert pinch bars,
pipe handling dolly prongs, hooks or other sharp pipe handling
equipment, which can cause coating damage. Plastic coated slick
lines, logging lines, and sand lines should be used if maximum
protection of pipe bore coating is required or where heavy wireline
trafc is anticipated on directional drilling.
Mud Practices
The following mud practices are the result of extensive eld and
laboratory studies and are suggested for best service life:
Spud-in to Mud-up
The driller may add detergent and small quantities of caustic
gel or other additives as required to the native mud. Caustic
additions should be as small as possible (not over 25 lb per tour
is suggested), and be balanced by the simultaneous addition of
gel and/or lignosulfonates to ensure that the pH does not exceed
the pre-determined target. Additions should be mixed in the mud
pit prior to the mud pump intake. Frequent jetting of the mud pits
should be done to reduce the carry-over of solids into the drill pipe.
Mud-up Gyp Base
A drilling mud of low viscosity, low solids, low addition, and low
pH should be used. Lignosulfonate-gel-caustic muds of balanced
composition (to neutralize the caustic and to obtain a pH of 8 to
9.5, after the mud is well mixed) are best.
The caustic soda is to be added after dissolving in water, and
be simultaneous with the additions of lignosulfonates and gel.
The mud shall be mixed by mud guns in the pits or tanks prior
to pumping through the drill pipe. A maximum of one pound of
caustic per barrel of mud is preferred. The pH should be checked
prior to pumping and must not exceed specied limits after 24
hours of pumping. (The pH will drop gradually as the chemicals
interact.) The pH should be measured each tour.
Subsequent addition of chemicals should be small and balanced.
Caustic additions should not exceed 100 lbs per tour, and the
caustic should be added after being dissolved in water. Viscosity of
the mud should be as low as can be tolerated by hole conditions.
The pits should be jetted frequently to reduce the carry-over of
abrasive solids.
Oil Emulsion / Oil Based Mud
The addition of oil and emulsifying agents to water-base drilling
muds offers no adverse effects and enhances the corrosion
resistance of aluminum alloy drill pipe.
Salt Base Mud
This class of drilling uid may contain up to 300,000 ppm sodium
chloride. For optimum service with aluminum drill pipe, the salt
content should not exceed 180,000 ppm, and the pH should be in
the range of 7.5 to 9.0. A number of inhibitors are available from
mud companies for this service.
Special Conditions
It is recognized that drilling mud practices are sometimes
dependant on special downhole conditions beyond the drillers
control and that such conditions may, from time to time, override
considerations of best care of the drilling equipment. Aluminum
drill pipe affords a number of major economies to the driller. To
realize the maximum of these economies, it should be operated, as
much as possible, in a manner compatible with the service life and
all factors involved in the drilling program.
Other Fluids
Completion and packer uids may periodically be used with
aluminum drill pipe during ow tests or other temporary situations.
These uids often stagnate (as opposed to owing drilling uids)
on the exterior of the aluminum drill pipe. The corrosion inhibitors
used in such uids to control steel corrosion may or may not be
effective in controlling aluminum corrosion. Before placing such
uids in contact with aluminum, corrosion compatibility should
be veried with the uid supplier. The high pH (13-14) of uncured
cement can be a problem for the uncoated exterior surface of
aluminum drill pipe. Thus, circulation of cement with aluminum
should be minimized or, if possible, avoided.
For compatibility to your specic drilling uids, contact your Alcoa
representative.
12
TOOL JOINTS
Drill Pipe Assembly
Tool joints are connected to aluminum drill pipe using a thermal
shrink t technology. This connection, featuring a proprietary
Super-Shrink Grip tool joint, is recognized for its long-term
dependability. Standard API joints are used with all Alcoa
Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe.
Alcoa Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe is machined with six modied
Acme threads per inch (RH) on a 3/8" taper per foot. The end of
the pipe is provided with a smooth concentric shoulder. Beyond
this point, the pipe is tapered through the transition zone. The
inside of the pipe end of the tool joint displays the threads, the
end shoulder and the counterbore.
After assembly, an engineered interference t exists between the
tool joint and the aluminum pipe (see adjacent drawing). The
annular section of the tool joint contracts after assembly and
provides an additional interference t. The pipe end is thus rmly
gripped by the tool joint, providing a pressure-tight assembly and
efcient transfer of tension, torsion, bending, and compression
loads between the pipe and working connection.
Removal of Tool Joints for Salvage of Drill Pipe
Aluminum drill pipe can be salvaged, re-jointed, and returned
to drilling service by turning the tool joints off with a machining
operation in a lathe. Tool joint application and removal procedures
are in continuous development, and users are periodically advised
as to improvements in these techniques.
When removing tool joints, normally two inches of aluminum are
removed from the pipe. The rethreading operation usually results in
a 0.020"- 0.030" reduction in the OD.
Double shouldered tool joints might be preferred for the use
on aluminum drill pipe. As tool joints have a wide range of
performance properties, selection of the tool joint-to-tube
properties should be considered when designing the drill pipe
assembly for your drilling needs. Contact your Alcoa representative
on the availability of tool joints for your specic application.
Tapered threads
18 elevation shoulder
High-strength tapered
alluminum alloy pipe
Standard API tool joint
Proprietary Super-Shrink Grip tool joint
Aluminum is 100% recyclable.
13
TOOL JOINTS
Tool Joint Details
Drill Pipe Size 5-1/2 in 5 in 4-1/2 in 4 in 3-1/2 in
API Working Connections 5-1/2 IF 5-1/2 FH 4-1/2 IF (NC50) 4 IF (NC46) 3-1/2 IF (NC38)
Threads/Inch 4 4 4 4 4
Taper (in/ft) 2 2 2 2 2
Pin--Inside Diameter (in) 4-1/2 4-3/32 3-19/32 3-1/4 2-21/32
Box--Inside Diameter (in)* 4-1/2 4-3/32 3-19/32 3-1/4 2-21/32
Tool Joint
Tool Joint -Outside Diameter (in) 7-3/8 7 6-1/8 5-3/4 4-3/4
Pin tong (in) 7-11/16 6-25/32 7-3/8 6-12/32 5-15/16
Box tong (in) 11-11/16 11-1/32 11-7/8 10-7/8 9-15/16
Elevator Shoulder Angle (deg) 18 18 18 18 18
Minimum Yield Strength (psi) 120,000 120,000 120,000 120,000 120,000
Tensile Yield Strength (lbf) 1,563,000 1,194,000 1,047,000 901,200 603,000
Torsional Yield Strength (ft-lbf) 62,300 52,400 38,000 33,200 18,600
Make-up Torque (ft-lbf) 37,400 31,400 22,800 19,900 11,200
Tool joint strength and make-up torque determined per ANSI/API RP7G
CNC equipment used to produce Super-Shrink Grip tool joint Standard API tool joint connected to aluminum pipe
14
BUOYANCY
28,000
24,000
20,000
16,000
12,000
8,000
4,000
0
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
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Aluminum Drill String Weight Pounds
5" Aluminum Drill Pipe
13.7 lb./ft. including Tool Joints
Weight Curves in Various Fluids
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4,000
0
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
A
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4

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/
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1
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a
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0

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a
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M
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Aluminum Drill String Weight Pounds
5-" Aluminum Drill Pipe
14.5 lb./ft. including Tool Joints
Weight Curves in Various Fluids
A
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i
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28,000
24,000
20,000
16,000
12,000
8,000
4,000
0
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
A
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1
0

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a
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M
U
D
Aluminum Drill String Weight Pounds
4" Aluminum Drill Pipe
9.5 lb./ft. including Tool Joints
Weight Curves in Various Fluids
A
l
u
m
i
n
u
m

D
r
i
l
l

S
t
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i
n
g

L
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n
g
t
h

F
e
e
t
28,000
24,000
20,000
16,000
12,000
8,000
4,000
0
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
A
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1
4

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1
0

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/
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a
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M
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Aluminum Drill String Weight Pounds
4-" Aluminum Drill Pipe
11.3 lb./ft. including Tool Joints
Weight Curves in Various Fluids
A
l
u
m
i
n
u
m

D
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i
l
l

S
t
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i
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L
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n
g
t
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F
e
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t
28,000
24,000
20,000
16,000
12,000
8,000
4,000
0
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000
A
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1
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a
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M
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Aluminum Drill String Weight Pounds
3-" Aluminum Drill Pipe
7.8 lb./ft. including Tool Joints
Weight Curves in Various Fluids
A
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15
OPERATING PRACTICES
Mixed Strings
Aluminum and steel pipe may be mixed in drill strings within
certain limitations. The governing considerations are:
1. If the aluminum pipe is run in the top of the string, overloading
of the top joints of the aluminum string by the weight of the
total string plus collars must be avoided.
2. When running a mixed string, the blowout preventer should
be equipped with standard-sized pipe rams, and the steel drill
pipe should be used to test the preventer. In an emergency,
the standard-sized pipe rams can be set on the aluminum for
blowout prevention. Following such procedures, the joint of
aluminum drill pipe that was subjected to the setting action
should be examined for circumferential deformation and
possible down grading. In many cases, no damage will occur,
particularly if the set was made near the midpoint of the
aluminum joint of drill pipe.
3. In a mixed string, aluminum drill pipe should comprise no
less than 5% of the total string in order to prevent possible
abnormal axial loadings (from longitudinal vibrations) on
the aluminum.
4. Furthermore, singles of aluminum drill pipe should not be
added in the string when going to a mixed string conguration.
At least 5% of the total string length should be switched to
aluminum when changing from all steel drill pipe to a
mixed string.
Straightening
In most circumstances, slightly bowed pipe will automatically
straighten under the stretching effect of the drill collar load in a
normal drilling operation. The term crooked drill pipe, as applied
to drill pipe by the industry, is usually associated with all forms
of deformation with respect to the theoretical central axis of the
joint. Some of the forms are referred to as corkscrewed (spiral
conguration), end-hook or gooseneck (usually on the box end),
crankshafted (double bends with an offset center portion), kinks
and simple bends. These deformations seldom occur on aluminum
drill pipe because of its resiliency. Endto-end, another form of
drill pipe deformation, appears to be the only deformation of
importance with aluminum drill pipe.
The hydraulic press is the least acceptable method for
straightening bowed aluminum drill pipe. Considerable deection
is required to exceed the yield and affect removal of a bow, and
any material cold worked in this manner can be damaged.
If a rigs hydraulic pipe straightening system is used to straighten
bowed joints of aluminum drill pipe, care must be exercised to
assure that many straightening force positions along the length
are established in lieu of one straightening force operation at the
center of the joint.
Stretch
All drill strings stretch, but because of the difference in modulus
of elasticity of aluminum compared to steel, an aluminum drill
string will exhibit more stretch than a steel string in air. In a
liquid, an aluminum string will develop greater buoyancy than
steel, nullifying a portion of the aluminum string weight and
reducing the length of the string. The difference in length of a
steel string compared to an aluminum string in a liquid depends
on string length, the weight of drill collars and other bottom-hole
assemblies in use, pipe sizes, mud weight, and straightness of the
hole. Actually, aluminum drill pipe, under its own weight without
collars, etc. has less stretch in 10 lb. mud (or a heavier mud) than a
comparable steel string.
If joints of aluminum drill pipe are suspected as having been
stretched, they can be measured longitudinally and compared to
original length of 30 ft. (-0, +2 in.) for accurate evaluation.
Equipment Modication
Only the following revisions to equipment are needed to pick up
and run a string of aluminum drill pipe:
1. Slips, hand or power, standard but modied by slip
manufacturer to handle aluminum drill pipe. Tapered slip
inserts, machined at on the teeth, are commercially available.
2. Blow out preventer pipe rams. Steel backups only (not rubbers)
are enlarged from standard if an all-aluminum string is to
be run. If a mixed string is to be used, standard-sized pipe
rams (for steel drill pipe) can be used. A variable bore ram is
preferred, however.
*Theoretical and neglecting stretch of drill collars
Calculations are based on 100% of buoyancy force converted to upward force.
Actually, the upward force due to buoyancy would be something less than 100%
depending on size of hole, number of drill collars, size of drill collars, straightness
of hole and other factors.
Comparison, 4-1/2 Drill String Effect of Stretch
and Buoyancy on Length
10,000 Ft. Drill Strings with 300 ft. (30,000 lb.) of Drill Collars,
Total Measured Length10,300 ft.
Pipe Size and Type
4-1/2"
Aluminum
10.75 lb.
4-1/2"
Steel
16.60 lb.
In air hook load
In air string length*
lb.
ft.
137,500
10,318
209,000
10,314
In 10 lb. per gal. mud
- hook load
lb. 93,500 176,700
In 10 lb. per gal. mud
- string length*
ft. 10,312.4 10,311.8
In 12 lb. per gal. mud
- hook load
lb. 85,200 170,600
In 12 lb. per gal. mud
- string length*
ft. 10,311.3 10,311.4
In 14 lb. per gal. mud
- hook load
lb. 76,000 163,900
In 14 lb. per gal. mud
- string length*
ft. 10,310 10,311
16
OPERATING PRACTICES
Drilling Line
Ton-miles on the wireline per round trip for various sizes of drill
pipe at different hole depths are shown below. The lighter weight
of the aluminum drill string reduces the ton-miles required per trip,
increasing the service life of the drilling line for a given rating. For
example, a 4-1/2" steel drill string at 8000 ft. depth required 146
ton-miles per round trip; a 4-1/2" aluminum drill string needed
only 99 ton-miles. If the service goal is 600 ton-miles, the wireline
for handling the aluminum string can make six round trips before
the rst cut-off is made, compared to a maximum of four round
trips per steel pipe.
Not including drill collars, a 5" string of 10,560 ft (average
hoisting distance of one mile in a 10 lb. per gallon mud) of 19.5
lb./ft. steel pipe would expend about 48 ton-miles (96 per trip)
of wireline compared to 22 ton-miles (44 per trip) for aluminum
drill pipe.
For a 600 ton-mile service goal, the 5" aluminum could be tripped
14 times before slipping in a new line, while the 5" steel drill pipe
would require a cut off after only six trips. The use of heavy bottom
hole assemblies will reduce the relative ton-miles savings.
Rotary Slips
Aluminum drill pipe is provided with a tapered transition zone,
approximately 3-1/2 ft. in length, where the slips matching the
transition taper of the pipe are required for aluminum drill pipe.
The use of standard cylindrical slips will result in a single-line
contact zone, causing concentrated local stresses that will reduce
pipe life. Standard slips should be used when making a set along
or on the body of the joint of drill pipe.
The rotary slips should be set within the tapered transition zone
of the pipe. The average taper for 5", 4-1/2", and 4" aluminum
drill pipe is 0.70" per foot per side. Special slip inserts should be
used with aluminum drill pipe to minimize damage. These inserts
should have a machined at surface on the teeth. The suggested
maximum height from top of the tool joint box shoulder to the
top surface of the rotary table should not exceed 40" with long-
type slips.
Power slips can be easily modied for use with aluminum drill
pipe. Aluminum drill pipe working connections have, on occasion,
been broken out with the rotary table without difculty. However,
this is not a suggested practice, and the conventional two-tong
procedure should be followed. Worn rotary table bushings will
affect the t of the tapered slips, leading to possible reduction of
pipe life.
A. 3-" 7.8 lb. Steel Drill Pipe 300" 115 lb. Drill Collars
B. 4-" 17.90 lb. Steel Drill Pipe 300" 115 lb. Drill Collars
C. 3-" 11.3 lb. Aluminum Drill Pipe 300" 115 lb. Drill Collars
D. 4-" 11.3 lb. Aluminum Drill Pipe 300" 115 lb. Drill Collars
Wire Line
Ton-Mile Depth Chart for Handling
Aluminum and Steel Drill Pipe
Typical Curves Based on 10 lb./gal. Mud
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Ton-Miles Each Round Trip
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POSITION FOR SETTING
LONG TYPE ROTARY SLIPS
RECOMMENDED MAX. HEIGHT 40"
ABOVE ROTARY TABLE
FOR SHORT TYPEMAX. HEIGHT 44"
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SIZE VARIOUS
4", 4-1/2" AND 5"
ALUMINUM DRILL PIPE
INDUSTRY SIZES
Handling 4," 4-1/2" and 5"Aluminum Drill Pipe
by Modified Rotary Slips
16"
17
OPERATING PRACTICES
Inspection
Aluminum drill strings may be eld-inspected for defects or wear
using optical or ultrasonic techniques. Requirements for eld
inspection vary with service conditions, area and drilling depth.
Inspection services are available from several qualied rms.
Magnetic inspection methods, customary for steel strings, are not
applicable to aluminum.
External inspection of aluminum drill pipe is conducted in the
same way as for steel strings to check for normal or irregular wear
of pipe and tool joints.
Since fatigue and other forms of drill stem failure have been found
to be of secondary consideration for aluminum drill pipe, the only
primary factor leading to downgrading of aluminum drill pipe is
wear. Aluminum drill pipe never wears thin at random positions
along the length and will always exhibit its minimum wall at the
mid point of the length. It has never been found otherwise. This
characteristic permits easy, dependable inspection of aluminum
drill pipe at the rig site by rig personnel.
Pi tapes (for establishing diameters from the circumferences) are
used initially to determine midpoint outside diameters from which
approximate wall thicknesses are determined. When midpoint
diameters fall below certain values, a portable electronic gage is
used to determine actual wall thickness for proper classication.
Many users have obtained excellent dependability with the system.
In addition, this system also offers added advantages in special
situations, such as inspecting pipe going in the hole on a shing
job an application in which immediate string dependability is of
paramount importance.
Since aluminum drill pipe is seamless, it can be manufactured and
furnished to a standard length tolerance of 0-2 in. It is an easy
matter to tape pipe and accurately determine condition of lengths
when permanent axial elongation of joints is suspected. Normally,
pipe that is supplied in random lengths cannot be processed in this
manner for determination of stretched joints.
In addition, a pair of steel-stamped X marks in the same plane can
be found in the working connection box counter-bore and on the
pin land. Counter-clockwise displacement indicates possible tool
joint backoff. Clockwise displacement indicates possible torsional
yield. Inspection of the relative position of the marks can be used
to establish integrity with respect to the above factors.
Aluminum Drill Pipe Inspection Categories
All Sizes
1. Body of the joints
a. At middle of joint only 4 positions @ 90
b. Determine remaining wall-ultrasonic single point
c. Determine remaining section for classication grade;
ultrasonic in conjunction with 3 below.
d. Body torsional yield clockwise displacement of X marks
2. Tool joints
a. Tool joint OD
b. Condition of working connections
c. Magnaux, only if working connection failures have been
evident or pipe has been subjected to abusive service
d. Backoff counter-clockwise displacement of X marks
3. Coating
a. Integrity (original bore in conjunction with 1 above)
b. Wireline cuts
c. Coating discrepancies likely to progress
4. Straightness
a. Kinks or sharp bends downgraded
b. Bowed joints straightened by spin straightening
5. Length (to nd stretched and damaged joints)
a. Measure lengths tool joint shoulder to shoulder only if
pipe has been tensile loaded in excess of sections found in
1 above
6. Hydrostatic (internal pressure only)
a. If slip area failures have been evident
b. Abnormal marking in slip area
Blowout Preventers
The actual outside diameter of the aluminum drill pipe body is
slightly larger than the normal diameter of corresponding steel
pipe (page 6). The shoes or packers of the blowout preventer
should be checked to make certain that they will clear the
aluminum pipe body OD, without gouging the outside surface
of the pipe. If necessary, they should be machined to provide
proper clearance. No modication is needed if a universal-type
conforming preventer is used.
18
OPERATING PRACTICES
General Practices
In all other mechanical aspects, the aluminum drill pipe can
be handled in exactly the same manner as steel pipe and in
accordance with accepted eld practices. The aluminum drill string
should be operated in tension for maximum performance. The
lightness of the aluminum pipe permits the use of an adequate
number of collars without overtaxing the rig, even at depths in
excess of its rating with steel pipe.
Racking Board and Rig Floor
In view of the greatly increased depth capacity obtained when
using aluminum drill pipe, it may be necessary to provide
additional ngers on the racking board and to extend the rig oor
to accommodate the additional racked drill pipe. The need for
supplemental tip-over outriggers on the substructure, or for derrick
personnel to handle the wind tip-over moment of the additional
sail surface, should be checked with the rig manufacturer.
Top Drives
Top drive drilling systems provide drillers with a safer, faster way
to rotate pipe. Aluminum drill pipe can be handled very efciently
with these systems. Its lighter weight and easy racking feature
enhance the performance of top drives. Top drive systems are
recommended for use of the aluminum drill pipe.
Handling Automatic Tongs
When automatic tongs are used to make and break working
connections, there is a decided advantage in using an aluminum
drill stem because the tool joints always wear in a concentric
manner. This wear pattern is ideal in comparison with eccentrically
worn tool joints, which will cause malfunctioning of the automatic
tongs. The exibility of the aluminum drill stem reduces lateral
forces and is the main contributing factor to concentric tool joint
wear. Another key advantage is the absence of short kinks and
bends, which are not prone to develop on aluminum drill pipe.
Handling Elevators
Aluminum drill pipe is equipped with tool joints with 18 elevator
shoulders (bottleneck type) on both box and pin. A standard 18
elevator must be used with the aluminum string. Aluminum drill
pipe is equipped with identical upset congurations on both
ends of the pipe. In conjunction with 18 shoulders on pin and
box, this allows immediate operation if it is necessary to turn the
string over and run pin up.
Handling Dual Elevators
Modern automated dual elevator systems for handling drill pipe
are very different from the slow cumbersome models of the
past. It has been proven in many instances that the drill pipe
life will be extended if slips are not used. In applications such
as ultra-deep drilling and directional drilling, where it is critical
to prevent damage to the pipe, a dual elevator system would be
recommended instead of the conventional rotary slips.
ALCOA OIL AND GAS
A GLOBAL PRESENCE
With strategically located manufacturing, sales, and support facilities, Alcoa Oil and Gas offers both the
manufacturing capacity and support network to meet the needs of the oil and gas drilling industry worldwide.
MANUFACTURING FACILITIES:
Chandler, Arizona
Halethrope, Maryland
Lafayette, Indiana
Massena, New York
Hannover, Germany
Samara, Russia
Belaya Kalitva, Russia
Changwon, South Korea
Sao Paulo (Utinga), Brazil
Houston, Texas (Drill Pipe
Assembly Center)
TECHNICAL CENTERS:
Alcoa Center, Pennsylvania
Whitehall, Michigan
Carson, California
Alicante, Spain
St. Petersburg, Russia
Beijing, China
New Delhi, India
Kwinana, Australia
Sao Paulo (Utinga), Brazil
SALES OFFICE:
Houston, Texas
CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS:
New York, New York
25025 IH-45 N.
Suite 575
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Direct: 1-281-292-6172
Toll-free: 1-866-385-2137
AlcoaOilandGas.com
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