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MOLYKOTE® P - 37 Paste

MOLYKOTE® Case Study - P-37 Paste

MOLYKOTE® greases are specially formulated to solve specific problems. This case study shows why MOLYKOTE® P-37 Paste is optimal for threaded connections.
 
In this case study, we explore one of the problems faced by Noble Drilling Corporation. Located in Sugar Land, Texas, USA this company is a global leader in oil-drilling industry.

Noble Drilling Corporation was facing unacceptable equipment failure rates in stainless steel threaded connections on its steerable rotary drilling equipment. Every equipment failure required removal by a specialty repair shop leading the company to incur extra costs (labor, shipping and refacing the damaged threads), and production downtime due to the maintenance. 

MOLYKOTE® lubricant specialists and Noble Drilling engineers worked together to develop a solution. The result is MOLYKOTE® P-37 Paste, a specially formulated lubricant that prevents cold welding, galling, and thread failure of tightened stainless steel connections on the oil rig machines. 

Cause of the Problem

Each stainless steel section on Noble’s rotary drilling rig systems is secured with either 4-1/2 in (114 mm) or 6-5/8 in (168 mm) API threaded connections. 


These high-torque fasteners are tightened to standard torque values of 32,000 and 62,000 lbs-ft (43,400 and 84,400 Nm, respectively) and are lubricated using a traditional anti-seize paste designed for a wide range of applications.

Root cause analysis was conducted on the equipment failure. The torque forces caused the lubricating compounds to be squeezed out during operation leading to lubrication breakdown. Only very thin metal-oxide layers were formed on the thread surfaces. 

Once the oxide layer is damaged, abraded particles build up on the surface, and the oxide-free metal seizes under extreme pressure. The clogged threads prevented easy disassembly of the fasteners due to a cold weld and galling, leading to the root cause of bolt failure on the oil rig drill equipment.

Traditional Anti-Seize Lubricant

 
  • Different metal-based lubricating solids including chromium, copper, nickel and molybdenum​
  • Form thin metal oxide layer
  • Contains the same additives as in stainless steel
  • Contains sulfur, phosphorous, zinc and lead-based compounds
  • Can cause stress-corrosion cracking and thread embrittlement

Compounds in traditional anti-seize paste can breakdown and lead to grain-boundary cracks in metal bolt and screw threads that propagate until bolt fracture occurs leading the machine to fail. According to Noble, its bolt failure rate was as high as 25%.

Solution

 

Replace a traditional anti-seize paste — which was being squeezed out of the high-torque connections and causing thread failures — with a new lubricant formulation.
 

Requirements:
 

  1. Provide superior adhesion to the stainless steel components
  2. Prevent corrosion and weathering
  3. Maintain an effective lubricating film despite the severe loads, contaminants and high temperatures of an oil-drilling environment
  4. Low sulfur and halogen content, with a minimum of phosphorous, zinc, lead and other metals that could cause stress-cracking or embrittlement of the metal

Result

Noble Drilling replaced its traditional anti-seize paste with MOLYKOTE® P-37 Paste on the critical stainless steel sections of its steerable rotary drilling equipment, boosting system reliability, cutting operation costs and maintaining production schedules.

Noble reported an immediate drop in thread-related connection failures of more than 50%, effectively reducing the number of times the machines required equipment maintenance. 


MOLYKOTE®​ P-37 Paste


An ultrapure, metal-free and more durable solid-film lubricant, designed for use on austenite steel and steel alloy threaded connections, with an impressive high temperature range. 
 

This high-viscosity anti-seize lubricant forms continuous lubrication with high-contact surface adhesion, provides excellent sealing, and allows for easy disassembly and maintenance of threaded fasteners.

 

MOLYKOTE® P-37 Paste can be used with high load-carrying capacity for oilfield drilling conditions. This anti-seize paste can also be used in power plant turbines, and steam valve fastener applications while maintaining effective lubrication to prevent cold-welding, galling issues, and embrittlement of stainless steel fasteners.

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