Direct Riser Tensioner (DRT) cylinders are complex tribological systems which include the use of seals, guide bands, hydraulic fluids/lubricants and materials in relative movement. These components fail due to the combined effect of multidegradation processes (friction, wear, corrosion and mechanical stresses). The origins of these degradation mechanisms lie at the atomic level and cause enormous economical loses
Hydraulic fluids are used in DRT for minimizing friction and wear of moving parts and therefore are one of the most important components in DRTs. These fluids have complex chemical compositions although they are basically composed of water (up to 60%). Specific complex components (additives) are added in small quantities into the fluids for reducing friction and wear of moving surfaces. Since friction and wear mechanisms occur at the atomic level, nano-modified fluids have a strong potential for improving the fluids properties.
The tribology and nanotechnology expertise at SINTEF will be used for understanding how friction, wear and lubrication of DRT moving parts can be optimize in the system as a whole unit. This can be achieved by optimizing the best combination of seal-guiding bands, rod materials and hydraulic fluids. This process will be made in a stepwise process starting by using nanotechnology for improving the hydraulic fluids and continuing with nano-modified metallic materials. SINTEF and NTNU are responsible of testing new materials and fluids at lab scale and propose new developments based on the experimental results.
National Oilwell Varco (NOV), SINTEF and NTNU are partners in a NANO2021-project. The Research Council of Norways programme NANO2021 aims at enhancing the national knowledgebase within nano-technology and advanced materials, including nano-science and micro-technology, to meet high international standards. The program is for the period 2012-2021.
More information about the project can be found at: http://www.forskningsradet.no/prognett-nano2021/Nyheter/Vil_doble_levetiden_pa_strekksystemer_med_nanoteknologi/1254009632429/p1253969916274