As is well known in the oil industry, one of the most common reasons for drilling tools breaking down is failure of rubber polymer. Orient Energy & Technology Ltd., a leading producer of oil industry equipment in China, has found that graphene nanotubes improve abrasion resistance of the rubber stator by 20% and increase tensile modulus by 30%, resulting in a shortened drilling cycle, reduced energy consumption and less environmental pollution from the drilling equipment.
56% of drilling tool failures in the oil extraction industry are caused by low durability of the rubber stator – one of the most important elements in a screw drill. In China, annual losses from the failure of drilling tools are estimated to be more than $40,000 per oil well. Equipment manufacturers are thus always looking for ways to improve the rubber used in screw drilling tools, to reduce these financial losses for oil-extracting companies.
One of the largest Chinese producers of PDM drilling tools, Orient Energy & Technology Ltd. has completed laboratory testing of nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) containing TUBALL graphene nanotubes, produced by OCSiAl. Just 1.7 wt.% of graphene nanotube concentrate introduced into NBR was found to increase the tensile modulus by 30%.
“Orient Energy & Technology is continuing to test TUBALL graphene nanotubes, in particular by studying their effects on other types of rubber, such as HNBR and FKM. Meanwhile, the first industrial prototype of a TUBALL-enhanced NBR stator for a screw drill is undergoing industrial trials,” says an OCSiAl press release