Archive for November 27, 2014

Friction Free, Self Lubricating Electroless Nickel PTFE Coatings

nickel ptfe plated component

The PTFE composite coating of electroless nickel is known for its self lubricating properties and exceptional resistance to friction.

By combining the high wear resistant hardness, uniform coating and excellent adhesion of electroless nickel with the self lubricating properties of PTFE, it is a perfect surface treatment for components and assemblies that cannot use conventional lubricants.

Prevent Calcium Scale Build Up with PTFE

PTFE plating provides a great release from calcium that is often found in hard water areas. In addition to the corrosion resistance of the plated layer, the common problems of the build up of scale on a component can be avoided. This is especially useful when an electroless nickel PTFE coating is used on food processing equipment, heating elements and spray nozzles, as it prevents the build up of this calcium deposit which could hinder the effectiveness of the equipment.

The Process of Electroless Nickel PTFE Plating

During the process of electroless nickel PTFE plating, a coating is applied that consists of an autocatalytically applied nickel/phosphorus matrix containing submicronic particles of polytetraflouroethylene. PTFE is actually fairly soft in its natural form, but when suspended in nickel, it is very durable.

This means that components with PTFE coatings are hard enough to resist corrosion and abrasion, and also have friction resistance from the PTFE, which ensures that parts have a long working life. This coating also has the benefit of producing a uniform coating which covers all surfaces of the part, even those with especially intricate geometries.

Key Properties for Electroless Nickel PTFE

  • Low Friction
  • Self Lubrication
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Wear Resistance
  • Uniform Deposit

Typical Applications Electroless Nickel PTFE

  • Food processing equipment
  • Sorting equipment
  • Injection Molds
  • Pump rotors
  • Titanium bearings
  • Heating elements

If you are looking for a metal coating that is self lubricating, corrosion resistant and wear resistant, Ni-PTFE is the perfect solution. Call us on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit the contact page on our website to make an inquiry.

The History of Onshore Oil Extraction in the UK

The History of onshore oil and gas extraction in the UK dates back to the 1850’s. Before the First World War in 1914, the UK got most of its oil and gas from abroad. Oil was first discovered in Scotland in 1851. During the construction of Heathfield rail station in Sussex in 1896, gas was discovered when natural water wells were being dug, which then went on to power the lights for the station.

onshore oil extraction techniqueDuring both the First and Second World Wars, Britain needed to produce its own oil to help the war effort, rather than rely on imports. It was of huge importance to the Government for the UK to be able to do this; therefore legislation was introduced to enable companies to explore for hydrocarbons more easily.

Onshore Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing

1973 saw Wytch Farm Oilfield in Eastern Dorset opeing, which is now the largest oilfield in western Europe. It is thought that the first hydraulic fracture in the UK was performed at around this time. After the 1979 oil crisis, onshore oil and gas activity rose again to meet the price increase, making production even more important.

In June 2013, The British Geological Survey (BGS) in association with The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) estimated that the area between Wrexham and Blackpool in the west and Nottingham and Scarborough in the east contained 1,329 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas compared to the annual consumption of natural gas in the UK of just over 3 tcf.

Onshore Oil Wells in the UK

Around 2,000 wells have now been drilled onshore in the UK with about 10% of them having been hydraulically fractured. There are currently around 120 producing sites with c.300 operating wells producing in excess of 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day or about 1% of the UK’s consumption.

Surface Technology for the Oil and Gas Industries

As specialists in metal finishing and surface technology for the oil and gas industries, NiTEC offer a full range of services including electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

The Use of Electroless Nickel in Valves and Flow Control Devices

Electroless nickel is an excellent choice of surface technology for the oil and gas industry. As discussed in previous blog posts, the properties of elctroless nickel coatings are highly sought after in the industry, including corrosion resistance, uniformity of deposits and abrasion resistance.

Electroless Nickel and Mild Steel Ball Valves

electroless nickel plated valve ballsThese properties have resulted in the widespread use of electroless nickel coatings in valves and flow control devices, which are critical components in the operation of a well where good performance and long life are major economic factors.

The application of electroless nickel to mild steel ball valves is now typical in the oil and gas industry, replacing hard chromium as a corrosion resistant, smooth and uniform coating.

Successful applications of electroless nickel have been observed in all areas of the oil and gas industry. In crude oil production, mild steel ball valves have a maximum life of no more than three months, and fail due to corrosion, surface cracking and erosion. But valve components plated with electroless nickel last for years with no surface deterioration.

Similar benefits have also been observed on ball valves at plants using the sea water injection system which involves pumping sea water under high pressure to force oil to the surface. With a coating of electroless nickel, the valves withstand the conditions and no degradation is detectable after years of operation.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

For more information about electroless nickel plating and its use in the oil and gas industry, or to make an enquiry about using electroless nickel for this type of application, call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Electroless Nickel Plating and It’s Use in the Oil and Gas Industry

Electroless nickel coatings can be used in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas. The properties of most value to the oil and gas industries are generally the uniformity of the thickness of the deposit, the excellent corrosion resistance that it provides, and its properties of abrasion and erosion resistance.

Enhancing Oil and Gas Base Materials with Electroless Nickel

The base materials that are traditionally used in the oil and gas industry have been enhanced by the application of electroless nickel coatings. Not only does electroless nickel lower the fabrication costs of many parts, it also extends the surface life of components. Extending the service of parts used in this industry is incredibly valuable, as the cost of shutdowns can be very expensive and time consuming.

The Three Areas in the Oil and Gas Industry

offshore oilrig

Operations in the oil and gas industry can be divided into 3 main areas; surface operations, subsurface operations or downhole operations, and offshore operations. Equipment is often exposed to severe environmental conditions including chlorides, carbon dioxide, brines, hydrogen sulphide, sea water and reef water, which can contain high levels of sulphur compounds.

In addition to this type of exposure, equipment may be exposed to abrasion problems associated with the ingestion of sand, mud, and very high temperatures.

Typical components whose performance has been enhanced by electroless nickel include the following:

Surface Operations

  • Blowout preventors
  • brake assemblies
  • chokes
  • compressors
  • gas turbines
  • pump housings
  • pumps
  • connection manifolds
  • valves

Subsurface Operations or Downhole Operations

  • Couplings
  • logging tools
  • plungers
  • packers
  • pumps
  • safety valve units
  • tubing

Offshore Operations

  • blowout preventors
  • gas turbines/compressors
  • heat exchangers
  • pumps
  • riser connectors
  • valves

UK Based Electroless Nickel Plating Factory

Here at NiTEC UK, we are experts in the process of electroless nickel plating. Our Chesterfield, UK based electroless nickel plating factory has a total of 7 nickel plating lines, making us one of the largest in Europe with the capacity to plate items of all sizes, no matter how small or large.

To find out more about NiTEC UK, electroless nickel plating, and our ability to plate equipments and components for use in the oil and gas industry, contact us today on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

UK’s First National Onshore Oil and Gas College to be Developed in Blackpool

New plans to develop the UK’s first national onshore college for oil and gas were revealed in a speech yesterday by Matthew Hancock, minister for business and enterprise. As we know, the economic opportunities in shale and gas are plentiful, and this new centre of excellence aims to train a generation of onshore oil and gas specialists.

The National College for Onshore Oil and Gas

The new centre will be called the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas and will be based in Blackpool. The centre will also have working relationships with Chester, Redcar, Cleveland, Glasgow and Portsmouth.

onshore oil wellMP Matthew Hancock considers the move to be a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity for the UK, and says that families, towns and villages across the UK will benefit from the new industry and its supply chain, creating 64,500 jobs.

Shale gas is an enormous opportunity for the UK and one that we simply can’t afford to miss out on,” said Hancock.

As the North Sea production continues to decline, the UK is becoming more and more reliant on importing gas from abroad to meet its needs. The government have estimated that by 2025, 70% of the gas consumed by the UK will be imported. Therefore, making the most of domestic oil and gas resources will help the UK to become more self-sufficient in the future.

£750,000 Government Funding

The college’s development is being funded by £750,000 of government money, and this amount is set to be matched by education providers and industry bodies. More money will be made available from the National College initiative to support the college on an industry-matched investment basis.

The bid to set up the college was led by the United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), and it will be overseen by the oil and gas industry to make sure that the colleges meet the needs of the industry by delivering high level specialist training. The aim is to keep the UK at the forefront of drilling, hydraulic fracturing, site development and environmental management.

As experts in metal finishing and surface technology specialising in the oil and gas industry, NiTEC UK are delighted that such a fantastic investment is being made into the future of the industry. Any attempts that the UK can make to ensure the future security of our fuel is a great move!

Protecting Mild Steel from Salt Spray Corrosion

Here at NiTEC, we provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services for both onshore and offshore applications. SeaTEC100 is a solution to increase the longevity of components used in subsea conditions. This product protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time, making it perfect for use in sub-sea conditions. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk