For the first time in Russia, the Scientific and Technical Center of the Pipe Metallurgical Company TMK in Skolkovo carried out comprehensive bench tests of premium oil and gas pipe joints. In the course of research, which took several months, the capabilities of the TMK UP CENTUM quick-assembly screw connection were verified. The tests were carried out according to the standards of the International Organization for Standardization. These studies were the culmination of a number of preparatory works that began since the opening of the STC at the end of 2019, during which the center's specialists prepared test benches for testing, ensured the operability of the equipment, selected the necessary materials and worked out the test methodology. The preparation of a prototype TMK UP CENTUM connection was also an important step. During the testing itself, the resistance of this premium connection to the stresses that the pipe string is subjected to during the production of hard-to-recover reserves, when superheated steam is pumped into the well to recover heavy, highly viscous oil, is verified to activate the oil reservoirs.
The test program was based on the ISO document Qualification of Casing Joint for Thermally Stimulated Wells. In the laboratory, the conditions in the well were recreated: the sample was kept for 120 hours at a temperature of 290 degree Centigrade, and also subjected to thermal cycling loads in the range from 40 to 290 degree Centigrade, while simultaneously applying an internal pressure of more than 70 bar and providing axial compression of the pipe. The TMK UP CENTUM connection retained its tightness at all stages of the test program and confirmed a unique set of performance properties.
There are two test benches in the R&D Center: the first one allows stretching and compressing pipe samples up to 762 mm in diameter with a force of 3 thousand tons, the second is designed for samples up to 406 mm in diameter and develops a force of 1.8 thousand tons. During the tests, the temperature of pipes can reach 350 degree Centigrade at a maximum internal and external pressure of more than 2 thousand bar, which by a significant margin exceeds the current requirements for pipe products for oil and gas production. The rigs also provide the ability to bend specimens, with a maximum bend of 20 degrees for a specimen length of 30 meters.