Development for
Short-Radius Drilling
Successful development of titanium- The low elastic modulus is the pri- products can be hot forged, machined,
drillpipe assemblies for short-radius mary characteristic that makes titani- and welded readily and are produced
drilling included appropriate condi- um desirable because the industry commercially in seamless tubular-
tioning of the outer-diameter (OD) wants drillpipe that can drill through product forms.
and inner-diameter (ID) pipe-body a radius of curvature of 50 ft or less The 30-ft-long, 2.875-in.-OD×
surfaces to maximize fatigue life, and have a service life greater than 0.362-in.-wall thickness, seamless
optimizing the pipe-end upsetting 500,000 cycles. Laboratory testing pipe stock qualified in this drillpipe
procedure, establishing the tool- has confirmed that titanium has a program exhibited mechanical and
joint-to-pipe attachment method, fatigue life more than ten times that physical properties listed in Table 3 in
and designing and testing a high- of steel for cyclic stresses from the full-length paper. The high ulti-
integrity tool joint and tool-joint-to- 30,000 to 40,000 psi. Because titani- mate strength of this alloy corre-
pipe connection for optimum um costs considerably more than sponds to a high S-N fatigue strength,
fatigue performance. The full-length steel, its fatigue life and enhanced such that the endurance limit in fully
paper provides an overview of these capabilities must make it more cost- reversed bending is typically 50% of
developments and the laboratory- effective than steel. the ultimate-strength value on
test results used to establish critical smooth surfaces. Because this
performance behavior and require- Design Parameters endurance limit is not affected by cor-
ments for 2.875-in.-OD titanium The drillpipe assembly consisted of rosion-fatigue degradation, this titani-
drillpipe for short-radius drilling. pipe body, tool joints, and tool-joint- um pipe can be expected to provide
to-pipe-body interfaces. The titanium long fatigue life at high stress levels in
Introduction pipe body with a nominal 120,000-psi all drilling and well-fluid environ-
Tu b u l a r U p d a t e

There is a need for drillpipe that offers yield strength had tensile and torsion- ments. Although Ti-6Al-4V tubulars
improved reliability and extended life al strengths between those of can be produced by hot rolling (e.g.,
in re-entry-drilling programs where American Petroleum Inst. (API) rotary-pierced) or extrusion, the hot-
radius of curvature is less than 60 ft. grades G-105 and S-135 drillpipe of rolling process was selected because it
Steel, aluminum, and composite the same size. The tool joint had ten- provided a lower-cost, higher-yield-
drillpipe traditionally used in these sile and torsional strengths much less ing, higher-production-rate method
short-radius-drilling operations often than those of the pipe body, which is for producing large lots of thin-wall
have shortened lives because of not uncommon for small-diameter- titanium-alloy pipe in all standard API
fatigue, wear, and physical damage. pipe and -tool-joint combinations. sizes and Range 2 or 3 lengths.
Titanium has five attributes that make The FR26-tool-joint thread form was OD- and ID-surface conditions of
it an attractive alternative to steel for chosen, even though other thread the drillpipe body are one key to
short-radius drilling. forms with higher torsional strengths achieving extended S-N fatigue life in
• With a 0.160-lbm/in.3 density, were available, because it had a signif- short-radius drilling. Because titani-
titanium is 43% lighter than steel. icantly improved fatigue life. um-alloy pipe is produced on hot-
• Titanium has a 17×106-psi elastic rolling mills in air at temperatures
modulus, which is 57% as stiff as Titanium-Alloy Pipe Body exceeding 1,700°F, substantial oxide
steel. A development program was under- scale and diffused-in interstitial (e.g.,
• Titanium is more corrosion and taken in late 1996 to develop titanium oxygen) surface layers (e.g., alpha
erosion resistant than steel. drillpipe for short-radius-drilling case) can be expected to form on as-
• Titanium is not susceptible to cor- applications. The pipe size selected rolled pipe. These hard surface layers
rosion fatigue. for this development was 2.875-in. are very brittle and highly susceptible
• With a 120,000-psi yield strength, OD×2.151-in. ID with 3.625-in.- to fatigue crack initiation. Ex-
titanium has a strength-to-weight OD×1.75-in.-ID FR26 tool joints. A perience has shown that incomplete
ratio 1.54 times that of S-135 steel. Ti-6Al-4V alloy pipe body was chosen hardened-alpha-case removal can
on the basis of its high tensile and diminish high-cycle S-N fatigue life
This article is a synopsis of paper SPE fatigue strengths, low elastic modulus, by factors of 5 to 10. Adequate sur-
59140, “Development of Titanium good corrosion resistance, ready com- face conditioning of the titanium
Drillpipe for Short-Radius Drilling,” by mercial availability, and low cost com- pipe for this application requires
J.E. Smith, SPE, Grant Prideco; R.W. pared with other titanium alloys. As total removal of oxygen-enriched ID-
Schutz, RTI Energy Systems Inc.; and the workhorse titanium alloy for the and OD-surface layers.
E.I. Bailey, SPE, Stress Engineering aerospace industry, its metallurgy and
Services, originally presented at the physical properties are well docu- Tool Joints
2000 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, mented and fabrication methods are Tool joints used on the pipe were
New Orleans, 23–25 February. well established. Ti-6Al-4V alloy 3.625-in.-OD×1.75-in.-ID FR26

MAY 2000

Fig. 1 shows a cross section of the engaged thread to maintain the ten. it was necessary pipe. The analysis (FEA) showed that hoop exhibit a very high strain-rate sensi- integrity and performance of the con. Because there forged in air at temperatures greater ference fit. Finite-element pared with steel pipe. FEA showed that a pipe-end- with a stress-relief groove and an late yield torque for this connection. leading to fretting fatigue and short life. to the nonupset pipe was favorable for tension. sile area of the pin. or bending and that istics. known for both tool-joint steel and 6Al-4V alloy products are readily hot ping forces resulting from the inter. but shear chosen pipe-end upset configuration. increase dramatically at high strain resulting from interference fit.875-in. The cal section for additional support. torsion. were not established. mance. However. joint was attached to the titanium ing the pipe-end walls was essential ence-fit threaded connection. diameter of the root of the last the pipe was examined as an alterna. A tapered pipe-wall transi- with fatigue-resistant features. ues in the literature for these. Upset Design. The diameter of the stress-relief between titanium and steel. Ti- are strongly dependent on the grip. the pin was machined ing pressures was necessary to calcu. integrity.600°F. interface to enhance fatigue perfor- resistance.e. installed in the tool joint. Steel joint. 1—Cross-sectional view of tool-joint/titanium-pipe connection. wall-thickness increase of approxi- enlarged root radius and was cut on a A test process was developed to mately two times could safely handle taper different from its API counter. than 1. Numerous upset trials on full- interference between pipe and tool assembly temperature was maxi. To expand the steel tool joint high fatigue performance. the tool joint and threaded tube was minimized. The tool shrink-fit-connection zone. total able limits even when the tool-joint rates. Addition of the copper insert eliminated fatigue failures at that location. pipe titanium alloy. radial stresses in pipe and tool mized and the hot clearance between were made on a production-machine 52 MAY 2000 . 1) and allowed the titanium to move axially with respect to the tool joint was Fig. cantilever fatigue testing also showed between tool joint and pipe body not that a gentle. Because it have good fatigue resistance. direct decreases dramatically with increasing ence.875-in. This configuration includes heavy ID sidered sufficiently high to provide reinforcement (i. Use of service stresses after required pipe- groove is slightly larger than the epoxy glue to secure the tool joint to end machining. stresses in the tool joint and radial tivity. it was 2. The tube with a threaded connection to achieve high tool-joint-connection FR26 is a single-shoulder tool joint with tapered threads and a cylindri. internal upset) Tool-Joint-To-Pipe Connection necessary torsional strength for and a minor increase in OD. Torsional and tensile strength expansion-coefficient values be to develop this forging process.. However. The tool joint was Coefficient of Friction. The adequately and achieve the proper procedures for upsetting thin-wall. thicken- attached to the pipe with an interfer. determine coefficient of friction anticipated connection-makeup and part. Differences in elastic mod- ulus between titanium and steel allowed relative movement between titanium and steel at the end of the tool joint where bending stresses were External Upset maximum. straight taper transition be the weak link in the assembly in Thermal-Expansion Character. FEA and It was important that the connection the connection. A copper ring that acted as a solid lubricant (Fig. com- and tool joint that affect their fatigue actual components. shrink-fit connection relies on a tight interference fit after cooling. rotary-shouldered connections. To improve its fatigue steel components at expected bear. radial stresses within the pipe measurements were made on the forging temperature. titanium alloys resistance also are increased. where flow stress is increased by increasing interfer.-OD titanium pipe joint. tive to friction gripping. On the basis of stress- instead of titanium to avoid potential es identified by FEA within the galling problems. and contact diameter of the was selected as the tool-joint material pipe and tool joint. length 2. as gripping force were significant differences in the val.-OD Ti-6Al-4V alloy pipe fit between the tool joint and the essential that accurate thermal. tion also was considered critical to Tu b u l a r U p d a t e most likely location for fatigue failure Knowledge of the coefficient of reduce and distribute bending in the tool joint is in the last engaged friction between the titanium and stresses at the tool-joint-to-pipe pin thread. strength of epoxy glue was not con. resulting in flow stresses that nection depend on frictional torque stress in the tube were within work. Some initial fatigue Titanium Copper Ring Tool Joint tests conducted on nonupset pipe indicated that pipe fatigue life at the tool joint was very low and would not be acceptable in service even with Internal Upset upset pipe. Copper Insert.

JPT S-N fatigue life was demonstrated by in short-radius drilling and a fatigue both rotating-cantilever and four. life 10 times that of steel. mechanical-property changes. No significant effects on were fitted with 3.200°F. Titanium-pipe-OD and mating. Please read the full-length paper for 2.to 0. and ref- vided fatigue life greater than 1.5-in. cold titanium pipe end. 18 joints of titanium-alloy that Ti-6Al-4V alloy pipe could be eral tool joints were destructively test. After shrink fit. ing components. and impact. upsetter normally used for steel To ensure that this procedure was all phases of the testing program were drillpipe. The resulting improvement of ties equal to anticipated service loads tages over steel drillpipe. However. and assembly procedures developed conditioned titanium pipe proved to tool-joint-ID dimensions and toler. minimum interference and repro. than 2 million cycles. the hot connection was cooled rapidly with water to minimize effects on titanium pipe and improve produc- tion throughput. less than 200 thousand cycles. and prevent ducible adequate joint strength. radius-of-curvature well in Greeley maximize fatigue life.-OD tool joints The shot-peening treatment instills a and 5. Colorado. threaded tool joint onto the threaded. ances must be consistent and have produce these joints for field testing. The joints were 30 ft long 2.875-in. and excessive surface oxidation would not occur. handling and wear damage on accurate OD/ID measurements Future development plans include drillpipe surfaces. compressive layer Summary can be used in extended-reach.-OD pipe consistently pro. to produce the test pieces were used to be quite variable when tested by rotat. radius holes were consistently more additional detail. a rapid tool-joint-heat-up procedure with an electric induction-coil heater was used to minimize tool-joint heat- ing time to less than 15 minutes while achieving target temperatures less than 1. illustrations.-OD titanium surfaces were shot peened thoroughly. fol- lowed by rapid cooling.-OD FR26 equipment used for steel pipe. Very County. The same manufacturing The S-N fatigue life of fully-surface. um drillpipe provides distinct advan- 90 ksi.875-in. pipe were produced for field trials.5-in. drillpipe with 3. sev. the titanium-pipe must be made before selecting mat. the maximum temperature and exposure time had to be limited so temperature embrittle- ment. tool joints. 53 MAY 2000 . completed.or on ID and OD surfaces.362-in.625-in. whereas steel erences.to 60-ft.-OD titanium drillpipe that 0. hardness.020.5 mil. two hits by use of processing condi. wall thickness and tions and rapid-strain-rate upset shrink fit. any properties were measured. Excessive surface oxidation can compromise joint strengths by decreasing the frictional coefficient between mating metal surfaces. Fatigue-test point bend tests. Maximum Project objectives were to develop deepwater-drilling programs where compressive stresses within this layer 2.875-in. ing-cantilever and four-point bend very close tolerances to obtain The pipe was used to drill a 58-ft- tests. Shot-peened results equivalent to 50. The paper from which the lion cycles at bend radii greater than under the same conditions failed at synopsis has been taken has not been 52 ft. designs for 2. Assembly Procedures The shrink-fit-assembly procedure requires rapid stab and makeup of the hot. Temperatures had to be sufficiently high to expand the steel tool joint over the titanium pipe during makeup and produce a proper interference fit for joint strength.-OD-titanium-drillpipe the strength-to-weight ratio of titani- were estimated to be approximately assemblies with mechanical proper.375-in.025-in. To eliminate this variability. Because of these considerations. It was vital that temperatures be used that would not degrade the steel or titanium com- ponents being joined. toughness properties before and after OD and 0. upset successfully and reproducibly in ed for tensile. These trials demonstrated not detrimental to the tool joint. After Tu b u l a r U p d a t e peer reviewed.