When establishing oil wells, pipe sections are connected by means of threaded couplings. In an effort to minimize the possibility of failure by jumpout, standard buttress connections were introduced. Part of their strength is directly acquired as a result of radial interference during make-up.
This paper discusses the results of a numerical study evaluating the effect of make-up on the performance of a standard 4.5 inch API buttress connection when axial tensile force is applied. In order to characterize the structural performance, the load distribution along the coupling length is evaluated, combined with a parameter defining thread separation. The latter is indicative for jumpout and the tendency of creating a leak path throughout the thread helix.
From the results it is clear that relative axial displacement within the coupling occurs, even when made up, because of an initial clearance among the load and stab flanks. This clearance may cause a connection to leak through the thread helix when available thread compound cannot heal this leak path. Despite undesirable effects on the sealability and rigidness of this joint, such a clearance is required to decrease frictional forces during make-up while maintaining the desired radial interference.