Wear resistant hardbanding alloys for the worldwide petroleum industry

Hardbanding FAQ

General Hardbanding Questions

What is hardbanding?
Hardbanding is the process of depositing a layer of super hard metal onto drill pipe tool joints, collars and heavy weight pipe in order to protect both the casing and drill string components from wear associated with drilling practices.
The Petroleum Industry Glossary:

Hardbanding is the process of laying on a coating or surface of [super-hard metal] on a [softer metal part] at a point or on an area of severe wear or abrasion - putting a hard surface on a softer metal by welding or other metallurgical process.

Where it may be impractical or prohibited by structural constraints to manufacture a part from the harder metal, hard-surfacing of the part is a practical solution. Hardbanding is the term given to hardfacing drill pipe – hardbanding is a specific form of hardfacing.
How is hardbanding applied?
Hardbanding is most commonly applied using a modified MIG welding apparatus designed specifically to apply hardbanding onto a tubular surface.  With this process, a continuous consumable wire electrode is fed through a welding torch. Most hardbanding wires require use of shielding gas in order to protect the arc during welding.  An electric arc created between the wire electrode and parent metal melts the hardbanding wire, transfers it to the substrate and forms a metallurgical bond between the two alloys.  There are other hardbanding application methods that are occasionally used including laser and plasma arc processes.
Where can I find information about hardbanding equipment?
For more information on hardbanding equipment, please see the Hardbanding Equipment section of our website.

Arnco Products

What are the differences between Arnco’s 100XT™, 150XT™, 300XT™, and 350XT™ hardbanding alloys?
The Arnco 100XT™ and  300XT™ have stood the test of time and proved to be some of the world's most popular and high performance hardbanding alloys.  Arnco has continued its committement to delivering superior, high-performance products, and has since developed Arnco's Next Generation line of high-performance hardbanding alloys including the Arnco 150XT™ and Arnco 350XT™.  For a more detailed look at how these alloys compare, please see the Products Home

Wear Testing

How are hardbanding alloys tested?
Currently, the most widely accepted wear-testing standard comes from Mohr Engineering’s proprietary wear testing process located in Houston, TX.  This process utilizes a machine that takes a simulated tool joint with a hardbanding specimen and simulates drilling conditions against a casing sample over a period of eight hours.  Throughout the duration of the test, measurements related to tool joint and casing wear are recorded and used to derive a number of useful figures.
What is the best measure of hardbanding alloy durability and casing friendliness?
The most commonly used measures for hardbanding performance are Casing Wear %, Tool Joint Wear in Casing and the ASTM G65-A Dry Sand Abrasion Test.  An ideal hardbanding alloy will display a low Casing Wear %, Tool Joint Wear in Casing and G65-A (grams lost).

Casing Wear %- This measure indicates the percentage of casing wall material that has worn away during the 8 hour wear test.  These figures can range from as little as 3-4% for very casing friendly hardbandings, and up to 100% for total casing failures.  Arnco’s line of products range from approximately 2.58-7.28% Casing Wear on the Mohr Engineering Casing Wear Test using a T-95 casing sample and other standardized parameters that can be found under (link) Hardbanding Wear Testing. 

ASTM G65-A - Results are typically returned showing the amount of material lost during the test in milligrams (mg) or grams (g). So, for example, Arnco 350XT, one of the most durable products on the market falls within a range of 0.16-0.21 grams lost using standardized parameters of 30lbs of side load and 6,000 revolutions. For detailed information about the ASTM G65-A procedure, click here.
Where can I find more information about hardbanding wear testing?
For a more information about hardbanding wear testing, including how to interpret the test results, please see the Hardbanding Wear Testing section of our website. 

Applying Arnco Products

Where can I find information about hardbanding equipment?
For more information about hardbanding equipment, including Arnco’s recommended hardbanding equipment manufacturers, please see the Hardbanding Equipment section on our website.
How can I become an Arnco Certified Applicator?
For information on becoming an Arnco Certified Applicator please contact Arnco directly or use our online submission form
Can I apply Arnco products over worn layers of other Arnco products?

Can I apply Arnco products over non-Arnco hardbanding alloys?
Arnco has conducted extensive compatibility testing of Arnco products over competitive hardbanding materials. Please contact Arnco for detailed information and recommendations for inspection and application of Arnco products over worn layers of competitive or unknown hardbanding.

Hardbanding Application

What are the different types of hardbanding?
Hardband products can generally be divided up into two categories: Tungsten Carbide (non casing-friendly) and Casing Friendly hardband products. Casing friendly material can be metallurgically classified as “chromium-carbides”, “titanium carbides” and “niobium borides”. These forms of hardfacing applied to drill string components vary greatly across application and performance characteristics. It’s very important for end-users of hardbanding products to become familiar with not only how a hardbanding product can be expected to perform downhole, but also the initial and re-application characteristics associated with a specific product. 
I’m having application issues, what can I do to troubleshoot?
Arnco has developed an extensive history of troubleshooting expertise. Please contact Arnco for support, including on-site visits to help solve any application issue. 
How often does hardbanding have to be re-applied?
Due to a large variation in drilling practices, formation abrasiveness and casing materials used re-application cycles can vary greatly.  Typically, once a raised hardbanding has worn flush with the tool joint surface, re-application may be neccesary. Therefore, it is important to perform regular visual inspections of tool joints during tripping operataions. 

Hardbanding performance plays a critical role in the frequency of re-application. Using benchmark tests, such as the ASTM G65-A Dry Sand Abrasion Test, can be useful to gauge relative wear resistance of one product against another. Some hardbanding products, such as the 350XT™ can be many times more wear resistant versus other Arnco and competitive products, requiring less re-application cycles. It is important to consider wear resistance, casing wear, ease of re-application and price when selecting a hardbanding product.