The oil and gas industry has an array of processes. All these production processes, processing, storage, and transportation of the finished product impact the equipment used in the oil and gas industry with tremendous stresses and corrosion. Also, acid bearing fluids passing through the tubes and channels can impact in a very destructive way. Therefore, the oil and gas industry use selective materials that can withstand all these severe conditions that are a part of the everyday functioning of the industry.
Now, let’s see the different types of metals used in the oil and gas industry construction. This is an essential topic in oil and gas courses for mechanical engineers.
Types of metals used in the construction
This segment of oil and gas piping engineering is crucial from an interview point of view. Therefore, a thorough study is essential. So, let’s see the types of metals in the oil and gas industry construction.
Cast iron is a ferrous metal and belongs to Category A. Cast iron is a segment of iron-carbon alloys where carbon content is more than 2%. Carbon ranging from 1.8 to 4 %, and silicon ranging from 1–3 %, are the main alloying elements of cast iron. Cast iron tends to be brittle. It has a low melting point, has good fluidity and castability. It possesses excellent machinability and resistance to deformation.
Steel is an iron alloy with low carbon content. The typical steel alloys have a carbon content upto 2.14% of its weight. Varying the amount of carbon and other alloying elements of Steel, such as silicon, cobalt, vanadium etc., can change the qualities of the steel. These qualities include ductility, hardness, toughness, strength, corrosion and resistance.
Nickel is added to steel alloys to enhance their strength and corrosion resistance. Steel containing just 9 percent of nickel content can showcase toughness at extremely high and shallow temperatures; primarily, they are used in heat exchangers. Steel and nickel alloys’ high strength and corrosion resistance make them a good fit for gas processing plants and liquefied natural gas plants.
Copper and Copper alloys
Copper metal and copper alloys are used for particular purposes in the oil and gas industry. Mostly, copper is used in the production of seals and valves. This is due to the unique properties of electric and thermal conductivity that help transfer cold and heat without cracking, warping, etc.
Titanium is one of the most significant metals used in the oil and gas sectors. Titanium, when added to steel alloys, increases the material’s strength, density and resistance to corrosion.
High-strength titanium alloys used in compressor parts are durable and result in the better shelf life of those parts compared to steel alloys.
Chromium was one of the earliest metals used in strengthening steel alloys. Chromium compounds such as chromium lignosulfonate have been used as drilling fluids known as deflocculants in the oil and gas industry.
Deflocculants have an excellent property of reducing the fluid’s viscosity and preventing suspended rock material from clogging around the drill bit. But there were reports of chromium compounds posing a threat to the environment which led to replacing these compounds with iron and calcium lignosulfonates.
If we dig deeper, we will find a vast ocean of information on individual metals used along with their properties and benefits. Therefore, to get an in-depth understanding of the oil and gas training courses online, you need to study religiously.
by Debashree P
Debashree is an Aeronautical engineer by education and a curious researcher by passion. She is passionate about engineering and technology. She is an avid technology writer who has a knack for developing content for websites, newsletters, blogs, articles, advertising and marketing materials based on the requirements. Technologies of her interest include Aviation, Oil & Gas and AI.