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Title:
GALLING RESISTANT DRILL PIPE TOOL JOINT AND CORRESPONDING DRILL PIPE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/108756
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A drill pipe tool joint comprising:a pin including a male threaded portion at an outer surface; and a box including a female threaded portion at an inner surface, the female threaded portion to be screwed and fastened to the male threaded portion in a contacting zone consisting of a male threaded contacting surface and a female threaded contacting surface, wherein at least a portion of the male threaded contacting surface or a portion of the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively at least a portion of the female threaded contacting surface or a portion of the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material and where said both surface portions are contacting surfaces after screwing.

Inventors:
NARIKAWA, Tomoyuki (1-10 Minamiwatarida, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 210-0855, JP)
ONO, Tatsuo (1-10 Minamiwatarida, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 210-0855, JP)
SAKURA, Koji (1-10 Minamiwatarida, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 210-0855, JP)
FUKUI, Toshihiko (1-10 Minamiwatarida, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 210-0855, JP)
YOSHIDA, Motohisa (1-10 Minamiwatarida, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 210-0855, JP)
KUWANO, Takeshi (1-10 Minamiwatarida, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 210-0855, JP)
KOBAYASHI, Nobuo (1-10 Minamiwatarida, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 210-0855, JP)
SATO, Nobuhide (1-10 Minamiwatarida, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 210-0855, JP)
Application Number:
IB2013/050265
Publication Date:
July 17, 2014
Filing Date:
January 11, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TENARIS CONNECTIONS LIMITED (112 Bonadie Street, Kingstown, VC)
International Classes:
E21B17/042; C25D7/04; F16L15/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003060198A12003-07-24
WO2005098300A12005-10-20
WO2007026970A12007-03-08
WO2008108263A12008-09-12
Foreign References:
US4506432A1985-03-26
US4527815A1985-07-09
GB2234308A1991-01-30
US4758025A1988-07-19
GB2104919A1983-03-16
JPS60116796A1985-06-24
EP2216576A12010-08-11
US20100206553A12010-08-19
JP2003074763A2003-03-12
US4758025A1988-07-19
US4468309A1984-08-28
Other References:
KAZUTOSHI OHASHI ET AL: "Evaluation of r-value of steels using Vickers hardness test", JOURNAL OF PHYSICS: CONFERENCE SERIES, INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS PUBLISHING, BRISTOL, GB, vol. 379, no. 1, 7 August 2012 (2012-08-07), pages 12045, XP020227917, ISSN: 1742-6596, DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/379/1/012045
FRITZ T ET AL: "Characterization of electroplated nickel", MICROSYSTEM TECHNOLOGIES, BERLIN, DE, vol. 9, no. 1-2, 31 December 2002 (2002-12-31), pages 87 - 91, XP007922276, ISSN: 0946-7076, DOI: 10.1007/S00542-002-0199-1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HIRSCH, Marc-Roger (Hirsch & Associés, 58 avenue Marceau, Paris, F-75008, FR)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A drill pipe tool joint (1) comprising:

a pin (2) including a male threaded portion (23) at an outer surface (21); and

a box (3) including a female threaded portion (33) at an inner surface

(31), the female threaded portion to be screwed and fastened to the male threaded portion in a contacting zone consisting of a male threaded contacting surface and a female threaded contacting surface;

wherein at least a portion of the male threaded contacting surface or a portion of the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively at least a portion of the female threaded contacting surface or a portion of the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material and where said both surface portions are contacting surfaces after screwing. 2. A drill pipe (4) comprising:

a pipe body (50) ; and

a pin (2) including a male threaded portion (23) at an outer surface (21); and a box (3) including a female threaded portion (33) at an inner surface (31), the female threaded portion to be screwed and fastened to a male threaded portion of another drill pipe of the same kind, in a contacting zone consisting of a male threaded contacting surface and a female threaded contacting surface;

wherein at least a portion of the male threaded contacting surface or a portion of the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively at least a portion of the female threaded contacting surface or a portion of the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material and where said both surface portions are contacting surfaces after screwing.

3. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 wherein the surface layers consisting respectively of a hard metal and of a soft material occupy at least 90% of the contacting zone surfaces.

4. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 wherein the male threaded contacting surface or the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively the female threaded contacting surface or the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material. 5. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 or to any of claims 3 to 4 wherein the hardness of the hard metal is equal or greater than 600 Hv, for example equal or greater than 800 Hv.

6. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 or to any of claims 3 to 5 wherein the hardness of the soft material is equal or lower than 350 Hv, for example equal or greater than 150 Hv.

7. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 or to any of claims 3 to 6, wherein the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material is equal or greater than 2.8, for example equal or greater than 5.

8. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 or to any of claims 3 to 7, wherein the hard metal substantially consists of a metal chosen within the list consisting of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), or their mixture.

9. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to preceding claim wherein the layer of hard metal is obtained through a plating process.

10. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 or to any of claims 3 to 9 wherein the thickness of the layer of hard metal is comprised between 5 to 100 μιη, for example equal or greater than 10 μιη, for example equal or less than 50 μιη.

11. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 or to any of claims 3 to 10, wherein the soft material consists of a metal chosen within the list consisting of copper (Cu), zinc, (Zn), or their mixture.

12. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to preceding claim wherein the layer of soft material is obtained through a plating process.

13. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 or to any of claims 3 to 9, wherein the soft material substantially consists of a phosphate layer.

14. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to respectively claim 1 and 2 or to any of claims 3 to 13 wherein the thickness of the layer of soft material is comprised between 5 to 100 μιη, for example equal or greater than 10 μιη, for example equal or less than 50 μιη.

15. A method of assembling drill pipes according to any of preceding claims wherein the pins including the male threaded portion and the boxes including the female threaded portion are devoid of dope or of lubricant grease when being screwed and fastened for assembling.

Description:
GALLING RESISTANT DRILL PIPE TOOL JOINT AND CORRESPONDING DRILL PIPE

Technical Field This invention relates to a drill pipe tool joint and a corresponding drill pipe, more particularly, to a drill pipe tool joint and a corresponding drill pipe, which has optimized surface hardness for repeating make-up/break-out operation without the use of a screw grease when drill pipes used in well drilling for oil, natural gas, shale gas, geothermal and the like are screwed together, thereby being environment-friendly, as well as improving operating efficiency.

Background Art

Drill pipes used in drilling wells for oil, natural gas, and the like have been connected by tool joints. In order for the tool joints to transmit high torque required during drilling, an outer diameter portion thereof is formed to be greater than an outer diameter of a pipe body, while an inner diameter portion thereof is formed to be smaller than an inner diameter of the pipe body. To this end, generally, a make-up torque value during joining a pin and a box of the tool joints is required to be several times a make-up torque value for casing or tubing used in wells for production of oil, natural gas, and the like.

On the other hand, for the number of times of make-up/break-out operations of the pin and the box of the threaded joints for the casing or tubing used in wells for production, the number of tripings is not so many. Therefore, for anti-galling (scoring) evaluation testing, International Organization for Standardization standard ISO 13679 defines acceptance/rejection determination in performance evaluation for 2 times of make-up/break-out operation in the casing and for 9 times of makeup/break-out operation in the tubing. However, the drill pipes require drill bit replacement according to drilling conditions of each type such as geological strata, well inclination, depth, and the like. Further, there is no ISO standard definition for the drill pipes, but the galling resistance is expected to be not less than 25 trips, and more preferably not less than 50 trips. For the casing or tubing, a lubricating grease (or dope) to be applied to the pin and the box of the threaded joints has been used for anti-galling, and also a surface treatment such as plating has been employed (see here bellow patent literatures 1 to 7). However, spreading due to tool joint cleaning, excess lubricating grease deposition on well bottom due to coating, rig pollution emission in workplace, etc. may have adverse effects on the environment. Therefore, for environmental consideration, alternative surface coating treatment using no conventional screw lubricating grease, so-called "grease-free" or "dope-free", i.e., with no lubricating grease (nor dope) to be applied to the pin and the box of the threaded joints, has recently been put into practical use.

Following documents have been identified that relate to the said technical field:

Patent Literature Citation List

Patent Literature 1 : WO2003-060198

Patent Literature 2: WO2005-098300

Patent Literature 3: WO2007-026970

Patent Literature 4: WO2008- 108263

Patent Literature 5: JP-A-2003-074763

Patent Literature 6: U.S. Patent No.4758025

Patent Literature 7: U.S. Patent No.4468309

Patent Literature 1 discloses a tubular member in which at least one of a pin and a box is coated with an alloy of copper and tin which contains 20 wt% to 80 wt% copper.

Patent Literature 2 discloses a threaded joint for steel pipes in which at least one of a pin and a box is furnished with a solid lubricant coating comprising a binder, copper powder and lubricating powder at its surface and the other of the pin and the box is coated with zinc or zinc alloy coating.

Patent Literature 3 discloses a threaded joint for steel pipes in which Sn-Bi alloy plating or Sn-Bi-Cu alloy plating is formed on at least one of a pin and a box. Patent Literature 4 discloses a screw joint for steel pipe in which at least one of a pin and a box is covered with a first plating layer of Cu-Zn alloy or Cu-Zn-Ml alloy (Ml is at least one selected from among Sn, Bi and In), and a second plating layer of Sn-M2 alloy (M2 is at least one element selected from among Bi, In, Ni, Zn and Cu).

Patent Literature 5 discloses a joint for an oil well pipe in which a first plating layer comprising the first to the nth layers of Cu-Sn alloy plating is formed on a box. Patent Literature 6 discloses a method for preventing galling comprising providing a soft metal coating such as an electroless metal conversion coating of Cu or Zn on at least one of a pin and a box, and coating a lubricant agent thereon.

Patent Literature 7 discloses a method for resisting galling including depositing a material film having a low shear stress value such as gold, silver, lead, tin, indium, palladium or copper by ion plating on at least one of a pin and a box.

Although Patent Literatures 1 to 7 disclose examples of solid lubricant, a technique for achieving repetitive make-up/break-out operations of a drill pipe tool joint for not less than 25 times without any use of a lubricating grease has not been found.

Summary of Invention

Technical Problem

However, as it stands, there exists no substitutable surface coating treatment using no screw lubricating grease for the drill pipe tool joints.

There is furthermore a constant need of improving galling resistance and achieving an increasing number of repetitive make-up/break-out operations of a drill pipe tool joint.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a drill pipe tool joint and a corresponding drill pipe, which can be subject to repetitive make-up/break-out operations for not less than 25 times without any use of a lubricating grease for avoiding galling, which is environment- friendly, and which does not use a lubricant. Solution to Problem

The said technical problem is solved thanks to a drill pipe tool joint comprising: a pin including a male threaded portion at an outer surface; and

a box including a female threaded portion at an inner surface, the female threaded portion to be screwed and fastened to the male threaded portion in a contacting zone consisting of a male threaded contacting surface and a female threaded contacting surface, wherein at least a portion of the male threaded contacting surface or a portion of the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively at least a portion of the female threaded contacting surface or a portion of the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material and where said both surface portions are contacting surfaces after screwing.

The present invention is also directed to a drill pipe comprising:

a pipe body; and

a pin including a male threaded portion at an outer surface; and

a box including a female threaded portion at an inner surface, the female threaded portion to be screwed and fastened to a male threaded portion of another drill pipe of the same kind, in a contacting zone consisting of a male threaded contacting surface and a female threaded contacting surface;

wherein at least a portion of the male threaded contacting surface or a portion of the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively at least a portion of the female threaded contacting surface or a portion of the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material and where said both surface portions are contacting surfaces after screwing.

A plurality of said drill pipes will comprise, after being assembled, a plurality of preceding drill pipe tool joints. Therefore the said drill pipe tool joint and drill pipe relate to a group of inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept. The drill pipe tool joint or the drill pipe according to the present invention may also comprise following features that may be combined according to all possible embodiments: the surface layers consisting respectively of a hard metal and of a soft material occupy at least 90% of the contacting zone surfaces; the male threaded contacting surface or the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively the female threaded contacting surface or the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material; the hardness of the hard metal is equal or greater than 600 Hv, for example equal or greater than 800 Hv; - the hardness of the soft material is equal or lower than 350 Hv, for example equal or greater than 150 Hv; the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material is equal or greater than 2.8, for example equal or greater than 5; the hard metal substantially consists of a metal chosen within the list consisting of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), or their mixture; according to an embodiment, said layer of hard metal is obtained through a plating process; according to an embodiment, the layer of hard metal is made of hard chromium plating; according to another embodiment, the layer of hard metal is made non electric nickel plating; the thickness of the layer of hard metal is comprised between 5 to 100 μιη, for example equal or greater than 10 μιη, for example equal or less than 50 μηι; the soft material consists of a metal chosen within the list consisting of copper (Cu), zinc, (Zn), or their mixture; according to an embodiment, said layer of soft material is obtained through a plating process; according to an embodiment, the layer of soft material is made of electrolytic copper or of electrolytic zinc; the soft material substantially consists of a phosphate layer; - the thickness of the layer of soft material is comprised between 5 to 100 μιη, for example equal or greater than 10 μιη, for example equal or less than 50 μιη; the drill pipe tool joint is devoid of dope or of lubricant grease; - the pin including the male threaded portion and the box including the female threaded portion are devoid of dope or of lubricant grease when being screwed and fastened for assembling.

According to the present invention the hardness of a layer is determined as Vickers hardness (Hv).

According to the present invention, one has to understand the wordings "hard" and "soft" as relative wordings; a surface layer consisting of a soft material has thus hardness lower than a surface layer consisting of a hard material.

The present invention also relates to a method of assembling preceding drill pipes wherein the pins including the male threaded portion and the boxes including the female threaded portion are devoid of dope or of lubricant grease when being screwed and fastened for assembling.

Advantageous Effects of Invention

According to the invention, it is possible to provide a drill pipe tool joint and a corresponding drill pipe, which can be subject to repetitive make-up/break-out operations for not less than 25 times without any use of lubricating grease for suppressing galling, which is environment- friendly, and which does not use a lubricant.

Brief Description of Drawings

FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a whole structure of a drill pipe tool joint and a drill pipe with that drill pipe tool joint in an embodiment according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view showing the drill pipe in the embodiment according to the invention.

FIG. 3 is a graph showing the relationship between the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material and the number of times of make-up/break-out operation of the drill pipe tool joint in the embodiment according to the invention.

FIG.4A is a photograph showing a surface state of a pin after make-up/break-out testing for the drill pipe tool joint in the embodiment according to the invention.

FIG. 4B is a photograph showing a surface state of a box after the make-up/breakout testing for the drill pipe tool joint in the embodiment according to the invention. FIG. 5A is a photograph showing a surface state of a pin on which the galling occurred after make-up/break-out testing for a drill pipe tool joint.

FIG. 5B is a photograph showing a surface state of a box on which the galling occurred after the make-up/break-out testing for the drill pipe tool joint. Description of Embodiments

Structure of drill pipe tool joint FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a whole structure of a drill pipe tool joint and a drill pipe with that drill pipe tool joint, in an embodiment according to the invention. In addition, FIG 2 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view showing the drill pipe in the embodiment according to the invention. The drill pipe tool joint for drilling is defined by the API (American Petroleum Institute) standard, and is formed in several shapes with different details, such as a shape as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

A drill pipe tool joint 1 in an embodiment according to the invention comprises a pin 2 including a male threaded portion 23 at an outer surface 21, a box 3 including a female threaded portion 33 at an inner surface 31. The female threaded portion 33 is to be screwed and fastened to the male threaded portion 23 in a contacting zone consisting of a male threaded contacting surface and a female threaded contacting surface. At least a portion of the male threaded contacting surface or a portion of the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively at least a portion of the female threaded contacting surface or a portion of the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material and said both surface portions are contacting surfaces after screwing.

Namely, the screwed surface (21 or 31) of the one of the male threaded portion 23 and the female threaded portion 33 includes a surface layer consisting of a hard metal, while the screwed surface (31 or 21) of the other thereof includes a surface layer consisting of a soft material which is lower in hardness than the surface layer consisting of a hard metal.

More concretely, the screwed surface (21 or 31) of the one of the male threaded portion 23 and the female threaded portion 33 has a layer or structure having a first hardness as an outermost surface entirely around the screwed surface thereof, while the screwed surface (31 or 21) of the other thereof has a layer or structure having a second hardness as an outermost surface entirely around the screwed surface thereof, in which the second hardness is lower in hardness than the first hardness.

A drill pipe 4 in another embodiment according to the invention comprises a pipe body 50, a pin 2 including a male threaded portion 23 at an outer surface 2 land a box

3 including a female threaded portion 33 at an inner surface 31. The female threaded portion is to be screwed and fastened to a male threaded portion of another drill pipe of the same kind, in a contacting zone consisting of a male threaded contacting surface and a female threaded contacting surface. At least a portion of the male threaded contacting surface or a portion of the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively at least a portion of the female threaded contacting surface or a portion of the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material and said both surface portions are contacting surfaces after screwing.

The drill pipe 4 is used in drilling by fastening (referred to as "make-up") and connecting a plurality of drill pipes 4 with the drill pipe tool joints 1. Here, the drill pipe tool joint 1 comprises the male threaded portion 23 provided at the outer surface 21 of the pin 2 of the drill pipe 4, and the female threaded portion 33 provided at the inner surface 31 of the box 3 of the other drill pipe 4. The male threaded portion 23 provided at the outer surface 21 of the pin 2 of the drill pipe 4 and the female threaded portion 33 provided at the inner surface 31 of the box 3 of the other drill pipe 4 are screwed and fastened together. In addition, the drill pipes

4 are unfastened (referred to as "break-out") as necessity. Therefore, the drill pipes 4 are subject to repetitive make-up/break-out operations at the drill pipe tool joint 1.

The male threaded portion 23 formed at the outer surface 21 of the pin 2 includes the surface layer consisting of a hard metal having the first hardness (i.e. hard surface- treated surface), or the surface layer consisting of a soft material having the second hardness provided by a surface layer consisting of a soft material (i.e. soft surface- treated surface), in which the second hardness is lower in hardness than the first hardness. As examples of the hard metal, there are listed chromium plating, hard chromium plating, nickel plating, non-electric nickel plating, etc.

Also, as examples of the surface layer consisting of a soft material at the lower hardness than the hard metal surface treatment described above, there are listed a copper plating, electrolytic copper plating, zinc plating, electrolytic zinc plating, etc. Further, surface layer consisting of a soft material is not limited to the plating, but a phosphating such as manganese phosphating and zinc phosphating may be employed, namely a phosphate layer may be formed.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the hardness of the hard metal is equal or greater than 600 Hv, for example equal or greater than 800 Hv.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the hardness of the soft material is equal or lower than 350 Hv, for example equal or greater than 150 Hv. According to embodiments of the present invention, the thickness of the layer of hard metal is comprised between 5 to 100 μιη, for example equal or greater than 10 μιη, for example equal or less than 50 μιη.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the thickness of the layer of soft material is comprised between 5 to 100 μιη, for example equal or greater than 10 μιη, for example equal or less than 50 μιη.

On the other hand, the female threaded portion 33 formed at the inner surface 31 of the box 3 has a surface-treated surface which is surface-treated differently from the surface-treated surface of the male threaded portion 23. More concretely, the female treaded portion 33 has a layer or a structure (including metal structure) having the second hardness at its outermost surface. When the male threaded portion 23 has the surface-treated surface having the first hardness, the female threaded portion 33 has the surface-treated surface having the second hardness, which is lower in hardness than the first hardness (i.e. soft surface-treated surface). Alternatively, when the male threaded portion 23 has the surface-treated surface having the second hardness, the female threaded portion 33 has the surface-treated surface having the first hardness. The drill pipes 4 with the male threaded portion 23 and the female threaded portion 33 configured as described above are fastened together with the drill pipe tool joint 1. In other words, the drill pipes 4 are fastened together by screwing the male threaded portion 23 to the female threaded portion 33. The male threaded portion 23 has a surface layer consisting of a soft material or a surface layer consisting of a hard metal as described above, and the female threaded portion 33 has a surface layer consisting of a hard metal or a surface layer consisting of a soft material described above. More concretely, when the male threaded portion 23 has a surface layer consisting of a hard metal, the female threaded portion 33 has a surface layer consisting of a soft material. Alternatively, when the male threaded portion 23 has a surface layer consisting of a soft material, the female threaded portion 33 has a surface layer consisting of a hard metal.

In the drill pipe tool joint 1, the male threaded contacting surface or the female threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and respectively the female threaded contacting surface or the male threaded contacting surface is a surface layer consisting of a soft material.

Other embodiments within the scope of the present invention may have contacting zone surfaces with surface layers consisting of a hard metal and/or of a soft material occupying only partially the contacting zone surfaces; according to an embodiment, the surface layers consisting respectively of a hard metal and of a soft material occupy at least 90% of the contacting zone surfaces. In the drill pipe tool joint 1 thus configured, even though the make-up/break-out operation is repeatedly performed between the female threaded portion 33 and the male threaded portion 23, the occurrence of so-called "galling" is suppressed. Therefore, the number of times of make-up / break-out operation until the occurrence of galling can be increased.

Here, the "galling" represents the state of the damage caused by the contact between the metals. The "advance to galling from seizure (welding)" refers to a state that a contact surface is seized and does not move at the initial seizure then further rotated or moved so that the seized surface exfoliates and is damaged. This galling is likely to occur in the case that a contact surface pressure is high or that an affinity between rubbing metals is high. In the present embodiment, the male threaded portion 23 and the female threaded portion 33 have the surface layer consisting of a hard metal and the surface layer consisting of a soft material that are different in hardness from each other, respectively, so that the affinity between surfaces to be in contact with each other is low. Further, it is preferable to set a hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material to be not less than 2.8 as described later. According to an embodiment said hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material equal or greater than 5. According to this structure, it is possible to suppress the occurrence of galling, thereby increase the number of times of make-up/break-out operations until the occurrence of galling. It should be noted that the number of times of make- up/break-out operations of the drill pipe tool joint 1 is demanded strictly compared with those of conventional threaded tool joint for a casing and tubing for wells for production, so that the number of times of make-up/break-out operations is preferably not less than 25 times, more preferably not less than 50 times. Examples

Make-up/break-out testing

In order to carry out an anti-galling evaluation in make-up/break-out operation of the drill pipe tool joint 1, a make-up/break-out testing was conducted by using a drill pipe with a size of 5-1/2FH. The drill pipe of 5-1/2FH has an outer diameter of 7 inches (177.8mm) and an inner diameter of 3.75 inch (95.25mm). Material grade is TJ130 (AISI modified 4135, Yield strength 130-150ksi, Tensile strength Min. l40ksi). Surface treatment area is from corner of the external shoulder through threads to the internal shoulder or internal bevel. After repeating makeup/break-out operations of the drill pipe, the number of times of make-up/break-out operations until the galling occurs at a surface of the male threaded portion 23 or the female threaded portion 33 was evaluated. The evaluation result is preferably not less than 25 times, more preferably not less than 50 times.

Table 1 shows the results of the make-up/break-out testing. The combinations of the surface treatments provided on the surfaces of the male threaded portion 23 and the female threaded portion 33 are as follows: the pin is coated with copper plating, chromium plating, or nickel plating, and the box is provided with copper plating, zinc plating, manganese phosphating, or no surface treatment (i.e. as machined without any surface treatment, which is indicated as "none" in the item of "surface treatment"). The number of times of make-up/break-out operations until the occurrence of galling is evaluated for each of these samples. For the plating thickness, a range of not less than 10 μιη and less than 30 μιη, which is available for industrial purpose, was selected.

Table I

From the results of Table 1, it was found that in the cases that the pin 2 and the box 3 are provided with a surface layer consisting of a hard metal and a surface layer consisting of a soft material that are different from each other, the make-up/break-out operations without any occurrence of galling can be conducted for not less than 25 times, so that the galling resistance is good (in Examples 1 to 9). Particularly, in the cases that the chromium plating or nickel plating is applied to the pin 2 while the copper plating or zinc plating is applied to the box 3, the make-up/break-out operations without any occurrence of galling can be conducted for not less than 50 times (in Examples 1 to 6). The combination of the surface layer consisting of a hard metal and the surface layer consisting of a soft material, more concretely, the combinations of the chromium plating or nickel plating and the copper plating or zinc plating have the interchangeability so that they may be applied on either side of the box 3 and the pin 2. In Table 1, "Cr plating" is hard Cr plating, "Ni plating" is electroless Ni-P plating, "Cu plating" is electrolytic Cu plating, and "Zn plating" is electrolytic Zn plating.

Hardness measurement

From the results of the make-up/break-out testing described above, it was found that the galling resistance would be excellent when the pin 2 and the box 3 are provided with the hard surface treatment and soft surface treatment that are different from each other in hardness. Then, the hardness of each of the hard surface treatment and the soft surface treatment was studied as parameter.

Table 2 shows the measurement results of the surface hardness of the surface treatment provided for each of the pin 2 and the box 3, in which the hardness in each of Nos. 1 to 6 according to the type of the surface treatment is shown by Vickers hardness (Hv). The Vickers hardness test method was performed in accordance with ISO 6507-1 and ISO 6507-4. The measurement was carried out for plural times, and an average value thereof is shown as the hardness (average Hv). Further, in the case of plating, the hardness of the plating material itself can be used instead of the measured value as the hardness of each surface treatment. As described above, the type of the surface treatment corresponds to the type of the surface treatment in Examples 1 to 9 and comparative examples 1 to 8 in Table 1. Table 2

The relationship between the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material and the number of times of make-up/break-out operations is now discussed.

FIG. 3 is a graph showing the relationship between the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material and the number of times of make-up/break-out from the results in Table 1 and Table 2. According to FIG. 3, when the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material is not less than 2.8, the number of times of makeup/break-out operations without any occurrence of galling is increased to be not less than 25 times. Results are furthermore increased when the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material is equal or greater to 5, as for an example equal or greater than 6.

FIG. 4A is a photograph showing a surface state of a pin after make-up/break-out testing for the drill pipe tool joint in the embodiment according to the invention, and FIG. 4B is a photograph showing a surface state of a box after the make-up/breakout testing for the drill pipe tool joint in the embodiment according to the invention. FIG. 5A is a photograph showing a surface state of a pin on which the galling occurred after make-up/break-out testing for a drill pipe tool joint, and FIG. 5B is a photograph showing a surface state of a box on which the galling occurred after the make-up/break-out testing for the drill pipe tool joint. In the make-up/break-out testing as shown in Table 1, no galling occurred at the chromium plated surface of the pin 2 and the copper plated surface of the box 3 even after repeating the make-up/break-out operation for not less than 50 times as shown in FIGS. 4 A and 4B.

On the contrary, in the make-up/break-out testing as shown in Table 1, galling occurred at a conventionally-used copper plated surface (plating thickness of 10-20 μιη) of the pin 2 and the heavier copper plated surface (plating thickness of 20 - 3 0 μιη) of the box 3 after repeating the make-up/break-out operation for around 10 times as shown in Figs. 5A and 5B. Advantages of the embodiment of the present invention are further exemplified.

According to the drill pipe tool joint and the corresponding drill pipe in the embodiment of the present invention, following advantages can be achieved. (1) In the present embodiment, the male threaded portion 23 and the female threaded portion 33 have the surface layer consisting of a hard metal and the surface layer consisting of a soft material that are different in hardness from each other, respectively. Since the male threaded portion 23 and the female threaded portion 33 have the surface-treated surfaces having the different hardness, e.g., the combination of chromium plating and copper plating, respectively, the affinity between screwed surfaces in contact with each other is low. Thus, even though the make-up/breakout operation is performed repeatedly between the male threaded portion 23 and the female threaded portion 33, the occurrence of so-called "galling" can be suppressed. Therefore, the number of times of make-up/break-out operations until the occurrence of galling can be increased.

(2) From the relationship between the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material and the number of times of make-up/break-out operations as shown in Fig. 3, it is confirmed that when the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material is not less than 2.8, the number of times of make-up/break-out operations without any occurrence of galling is increased, particularly, the make-up/break-out operations for not less than 25 times as a practicable range for the drill pipe tool joint is possible. In the case that chromium plating or nickel plating is applied to the pin 2 while copper plating is applied to the box 3, the make-up/break-out operations until the occurrence of galling for not less than 50 times can be achieved.

(3) By applying the combination of the surface treatment with different hardness such as the combination of chromium plating and copper plating to the pin 2 and the box 3, the conventionally-used lubricating grease (or dope) is no longer required to be applied to the pin 2 and the box 3. Therefore, it is possible to achieve an environment-friendly drill pipe tool joint and a drill pipe with the same. (4) By applying the combination of surface-treated surfaces having the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material of not less than 2.8 to the screwed surfaces of the pin 2 and the box 3 that are subject to repetitive makeup/break-out operations, it is possible to achieve a significant advantage that the number of times of make-up/break-out operations without any occurrence of galling increases. From the graph of Fig. 3, it is understood that the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material of 2.8 has a criticality, since the number of times of make-up/break-out operations without any occurrence of galling significantly changes before and after the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material of 2.8. As shown by figure 3, results are furthermore increased when the hardness ratio of the hard metal to the soft material is equal or greater to 5, as for an example equal or greater than 6.

Although the invention has been described with respect to the specific embodiments, these embodiments are merely examples and do not limit the invention according to claims. These novel embodiments and modifications can be enforced in other various manners, and various omissions, replacements, alterations and the like may be made without going beyond the gist of the invention. All the combinations of the features described in the embodiments are not necessarily essential for the means for solving the problem of the Invention. Further, these embodiments and modifications are included in the scope and gist of the invention and the scope of the inventions described in claims and their equivalents. Industrial Applicability

A drill pipe tool joint and a corresponding drill pipe according to the present invention can be used without the use of a screw grease when the make-up/break-out operations of the drill pipe are performed for not less than 25 times, thereby being environment- friendly, as well as improving operating efficiency.

References Signs List

1 Drill pipe tool joint

2 Pin

3 Box

4 Drill pipe

21 Outer surface of Pin

23 Male threaded portion

31 Inner surface of Box

33 Female threaded portion

50 Pipe body