The “development of prototype” grant from the U.K.’s innovation agency will part-fund a two-year project to further develop, manufacture and test a new Hardide coating for use in a hardfacing material that will enable drilling tools and high wear parts to operate at peak performance in severely abrasive environments where current technologies fail.
The new material will complement Hardide’s existing range of wear and erosion resistant coatings and offer a level of durability and protection that is not currently available from any surface technology in the market.
Offshore drilling is one of the main markets for the technology. Oil and gas drilling environments are becoming increasingly hostile as exploration and production moves to deeper and harsher waters to exploit remaining reserves. Existing protective technologies are failing to provide the required drilling tool life and the cost of equipment failure in these locations can quickly run into millions of pounds in rig downtime alone.
“Smart” is a Technology Strategy Board scheme offering funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. The Smart scheme supports R&D projects which offer potentially significant rewards and could stimulate U.K. economic growth.