In the last decade, traditional tube expansion process has found an innovative application in oil and gas wells drilling and remediation. The ultimate goal is to replace the conventional telescopic wells to monodiameter 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-/postexpanded 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 has minimum resistance during expansion as compared to the widely used circular cross section mandrel with a cone angle of 10 deg. However, further manipulation of shape parameters of the circular cross section mandrel yielded an improved efficiency. The drawing force required for expansion reduces by 7–10% having minimum dissipated energy during expansion. It is also found that these mandrels yield less reduction in tube thickness after expansion, which results in higher postexpansion collapse strength. In addition, rotating a mandrel further reduces the energy required for expansion by another 7%.
Optimum Mandrel Configuration for Efficient Down-Hole Tube Expansion
Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received July 30, 2014; final manuscript received March 27, 2015; published online September 9, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Gracious Ngaile.
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Al-Abri, O. S., Pervez, T., Qamar, S. Z., and Al-Busaidi, A. M. (September 9, 2015). "Optimum Mandrel Configuration for Efficient Down-Hole Tube Expansion." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. December 2015; 137(6): 061005. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4030302
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