In the last decade, traditional tube expansion process has found an innovative application in oil and gas well drilling and remediation. The ultimate goal is to replace the conventional telescopic wells to mono-diameter wells with minimum cost, which is still a distant reality. Further to this, large diameters are needed at terminal depths for enhanced production from a single well while keeping the power required for expansion and related costs to a minimum. Progress has been made to realize slim wells by driving a rigid mandrel of a suitable diameter through the tube either mechanically or hydraulically to attain a desirable expansion ratio. This paper presents a finite element model which predicts the drawing force for expansion, the stress field in expanded and pre/post expanded zones, and the energy required for expansion. Through minimization of energy required for expansion, an optimum mandrel configuration i.e. shape, size and angle was obtained which can be used to achieve larger in-situ expansion. It is found that mandrel with elliptical, hemispherical and curved conical shapes have minimum resistance during expansion as compared to the widely used circular cross section mandrel with a cone angle of 10°. However, further manipulation of shape parameters of the circular cross section mandrel revealed an improved efficiency. The drawing force required for expansion reduces by 7% to 10% having minimum dissipated energy during expansion. It is also found that these cones yield less reduction in tube thickness after expansion, which results in higher post-expansion collapse strength. In addition, rotating a mandrel further reduces the energy required for expansion by 7%.
Optimum Mandrel Configuration for Efficient Down-Hole Tube Expansion
Pervez, T, Al-Abri, OS, Qamar, SZ, & Al-Busaidi, AM. "Optimum Mandrel Configuration for Efficient Down-Hole Tube Expansion." Proceedings of the ASME 2012 11th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis. Volume 1: Advanced Computational Mechanics; Advanced Simulation-Based Engineering Sciences; Virtual and Augmented Reality; Applied Solid Mechanics and Material Processing; Dynamical Systems and Control. Nantes, France. July 2–4, 2012. pp. 469-477. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ESDA2012-82397
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