Cutting and Reaming
For applications such as milling tools, reamers and a wide variety of other fishing tools, coarse microcrystalline tungsten carbide composite rod (commonly referred to by the trade names of Clusterite/Kutrite/Itcoloy or similar) can be applied to steel components. A variety of crushed carbide size ranges are available and can be applied to new tools or as a build up for used components.
For the most challenging applications, tungsten carbide inserts, and/or PDC’s (poly-crystalline diamond compacts) can be brazed in place as necessary to provide long lasting reaming and milling capability downhole.
High temperature brazing of tungsten carbide bricks with small (0.1 mm diameter) tungsten carbide spheres in a Ni-based matrix is often used for components in extreme wear environments such as rotating bearings in mud motors and drill string stabilizers. This method of hardfacing is commonly referred to as Spray and Fuse.
Oxy-fuel brazing is not recommended for high strength, non-magnetic austenitic stainless steels due to cracking that occurs in the base material under the hardfacing deposit. That class of materials should only have hardfacing applied by laser cladding. There is no problem applying oxy-fuel brazing to carbon steels, alloys steels (ie: 4140, 4145, 4330 etc…) and stainless steels such as 17-4, 15-5 and 13-8.
Apollo-Clad uses the same, high quality spherical fused tungsten carbide for brazing as used for the laser cladding process, along with high quality tungsten carbide tiles/bricks sourced directly from the leading manufacturers of pressed and sintered tungsten carbide products. High quality tungsten carbide applied correctly is key to achieving maximum wear resistance.
When erosion resistance is required, but the geometry or size of the component makes laser based hardfacing difficult from an access perspective, sprayed carbide may be a good solution without the need for tungsten carbide tiles/bricks. Elbows that handle erosive fluids are often subjected to wear and early replacement without appropriate hardfacing on the interior. Frac sand piping systems are often subject to this type of erosive wear due to the flow of many tons of sand though those systems every day.
For applications where a combination of properties is required to extend the life of the tool, Apollo-Clad can provide the best combination of hardfacing to suit your application. Contact us today to determine the right hardfacing materials and process (or combination) for your application.