Germany: UNITECH Offshore Uses Hardide Coatings for New Subsea Connector

UNITECH Offshore Designs High-Pressure Subsea Connector

A new low friction, non-porous, wear resistant tungsten carbide coating from Hardide Coatings has enabled UNITECH Offshore AS to design a unique ROV-operated subsea high-pressure connector with integrated ball valve for use in critical production applications including wellhead control, gas lift and chemical injection.

The UH-500 connector integrates a 2” reduced bore ball valve into UNITECH’s standard UH-550 2” male stab connector resulting in an extremely compact and short assembly. Opening and closing of the ball valve at full working pressure of 10,000 psi is by a handle mechanism operated by the ROV manipulator while the ROV remains connected to the female connector with its class 4 torque tool.

The connector is now in use for customers including Cameron and BP on the latter’s Block 31 field in Angola.

Uwe Bauersfeld, general manager, UNITECH Germany GmbH commented: “An extremely low friction, non-porous coating with superior wear resistance and a smooth surface finish was required for the ball and sealing cartridges. Hardide-T provided a cost effective solution that could meet the challenging conditions in which the UH-550 connector operates and we now have more than 120 units in the field.”

Bruce Robinson, chief operating officer of Hardide plc said: “Hardide provides enabling metal coatings that combine wear, erosion and corrosion resistant properties and open up new engineering design opportunities for severe service applications such as high pressure, abrasive, erosive and sour environments. With UNITECH, we were able to help them design this unique subsea connector and solve a specific end-user need.”

Hardide Coatings has developed a range of tungsten carbide-based precision coatings which offer an unprecedented combination of ultra-hardness, toughness, low friction and chemical resistance when applied to components made from ferrous and nickel-based alloys. They can coat internal surfaces and complex shapes and offer significant technical and environmental advantages over traditional coating technologies such as hard chrome and HVOF.

The coating is in use by customers around the world in severe service applications in industries including oil and gas downhole and drilling tools, aerospace, valves, power generation, chemicals and food manufacturing.

Offshore Energy Today Staff, February 1, 2012; Image: Unitech