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DAMORPHE Presents at OTC 2024

DAMORPHE is presenting at The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2024, Houston, Texas, USA. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Date & Time: Monday, May 6, 2024; 9:30 – 12:00
Location: Room 306; NRG Park

This session will discuss the main challenges associated with offshore asset decommissioning in a context of increased pressure for fair and environmental friendly destination of installations and materials. There are several technological advancements and business opportunities in this area, either in established mature basins where such operations are common and regulation is established, like the Gulf of Mexico or the North Sea, or in emerging hotspots like Brazil which is set to be the third largest market for such activities between 2023 and 2030. The call for operators, regulators and suppliers to jointly tackle that effort guaranteeing operational safety and cost efficiency is a present day imperative.

Date & Time: Tuesday, May 7, 2024; 14:00 – 16:30
Location: Room 306; NRG Park

This session explores the crucial role of collaboration and technology development in effectively implementing Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects. With the growing urgency to mitigate climate change, CCS has emerged as a vital solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing CO2 from industrial processes and power generation and storing it underground. However, the successful deployment of CCS projects requires the combined efforts of various stakeholders, including governments, industries, research institutions, and technology developers. In this session, we will delve into the significance of collaboration among these stakeholders to address the complex challenges associated with CCS projects. We will discuss the need for cross-sector partnerships, knowledge sharing, and coordinated efforts to overcome regulatory barriers, financial constraints, and public acceptance issues. The session will highlight successful collaboration models from existing CCS initiatives, emphasizing the lessons learned and best practices that can be replicated in future projects. Furthermore, this session will focus on the critical role of technology development in advancing CCS projects. Participants will gain insights into the latest advancements in carbon capture, storage, and utilization technologies, including breakthroughs in solvent-based, solid sorbent, and membrane-based capture methods. We will explore the role of research and development, innovation, and pilot-scale demonstrations in driving the deployment of cost-effective and efficient CCS technologies.

Technical Paper Session: Unlocking Enhanced Value Across The Offshore Energy Development Landscape Through Collaboration

Paper # 35090: Venturi Choke Beans Designed With Abrasion Resistant Nanocomposite Survives Placement Downstream of Wellhead In Aggressive Field Trials and Outperforms Commercial Counterparts

Date & Time: Monday, May 6, 2024; 15:20 – 15:38
Location: Room 606; NRG Park


Evidence of catastrophic choke failure in a few hours, when deployed downstream of wellhead, upstream of cyclonic sand traps, constrains operators on placement to protect mission critical expensive production equipment. This potentially leads to exposure of site personnel to high pressures and temperatures when dumping sand, and the frequent replacement of chokes due to high velocity sand erosion. To increase mean time between failures (MTBF) of the components discussed above, a multi prong approach is warranted with intelligent design changes to made to overcome these frequent failures. Design reviews with operators and end customers, including root cause failure analysis, have helped resolve part of underlying problems. With the advent of bulk nanomaterials, abrasion resistant nanocomposites with tailored properties: strength, modulus thus apposite hardness, abrasion aka erosion resistance, and fracture toughness surpassing properties of commercial cemented carbides have been proposed as a key alternate to help bridge this challenging technology gap.

For extreme wear, we have adapted a powder metallurgy approach. Here we present, the design of nanocomposites wherein the base material may be a combination of ultra-hard, heavy nanoparticulates having multi nanophase inclusions with grain size varying between 100 nm to submicron grains (800 nm), coated Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) to prevent graphitization during consolidation abetted by high pressures and temperatures and Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN). Salient American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) G65 standard abrasion tests on bulk solids have shown superior performance up to ten fold (10X) improvement over High Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF) Tungsten carbide (WC) coatings and overlays and a two- to five- fold (2 to 5X) improvement over traditional bulk WC*. The rationale for the predicted high erosion resistance of the abrasion resistant nanocomposite (ARn-C) sample in the ASTM G65 test is due to the defect free sintered carbide with proprietary High Entropy Alloy/Bulk Metallic Glass (HEA/BMG) binders at elevated consolidation temperatures, under pressure.

The first embodiment, a choke bean for high pressure gas well, was deployed and field trials performed in H2 2023, wherein venturi choke beans survived placement downstream of wellhead in aggressive field trials and outperformed commercial counterparts. 24/64 and 32/64 venturi choke beans were introduced alongside their commercial counterparts in the field. Our unique design intelligently places vena-contracta, where maximum velocity (and lowest pressure) is evident, away from metallic outer sleeve of choke bean, unlike the conventional design. This is one of the rationale, designed venturi choke bean survived days of flow in an extreme abrasive stream, while conventional bean failed in a few hours.

Multiple designs of choke beans are now matured, embodiments manufactured and awaiting final field trials before commercialization. ASTM G65 tests, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and field trials have allowed us calibrate erosion profile of ARn-C, optimize the design, include eddy breakers and deflector in the venturi exhaust to tailor flow. One of many designs is a superior, however economized offering to participate in current competitive landscape. The focus of our paper is detailing a structured engineering approach to develop a solution for choke beans while outlining other technology gaps to be bridged using ARn-C. Re-design choke beans offers significantly increased operating life and lower MTBF.

Nanocomposites stemming from a metal-matrix, polymeric or a combination thereof or an agglomeration of nanocrystalline particulates exhibiting novel properties are unique. Designed venturi choke bean allows 5 to 15% increase flow compared to conventional commercial choke bean due to its efficient venturi design.  *Patents-Pending

Technical Paper Session: Advance Materials for Sustainable Offshore Energy

Paper # 35283: Smart Nanocomposites to Enable Remote Inspection of Offshore Wind Energy Systems: A Mission to Reduce Human Exposure to Hazards

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 8, 2024; 9:50 – 10:08
Location: Room 610; NRG Park


Demand for wind energy, one of the most important renewable energy sources, will continue to expand, considering the outcome of the last COP28. A critical impediment in the use of wind turbines to harvest wind energy is its unpredictable reliability. Turbine blades are a vital and expensive part of a wind turbine. Over its service life, they can undergo degradation through exposure to environmental elements and fatigue, which can limit their effectiveness and safety. There are many failure modes that affect the performance of wind turbine systems. In particular, surface, and sub-surface damage (e.g., cracks, delamination) of the materials of construction for examples, fiberglass or carbon fiber composites often used to manufacture rotor blades are common.

It is also extremely difficult and hazardous to conduct periodic inspection, maintenance using human workforce in the offshore environment. Inspection requires personnel to be transported to the wind turbine, transferred to a rotating structure.  In addition, frequently changing offshore climate with high winds in deepwater, all the while working at heights and in confined spaces, make this activity risky. Development of more evolved designs and the application of reliable and cost-effective turbine condition-monitoring techniques will help resolve this constraint.

Reducing operation and maintenance costs of wind turbine blades and other key rotating components is of paramount importance for success and global adoption. Thus, the ability to detect damage of the blades is of great significance for planning maintenance and continued operation of the wind turbine.

The current state of the art in inspection of offshore wind turbines involves personnel using drones to perform visual inspection both internally and externally. The use of drones, a great step forward, cannot however avoid having personnel on location. Further, working at heights is not something that can currently be avoided. Internal inspection of the turbine structures and working in confined spaces are also still required. The next evolution in the state of the art in inspection is to remove or significantly reduce the need for human intervention. This evolution requires several technological innovations, which include new intelligent materials that can act as sensors, enabling remote monitoring of damage to the turbine structure, both internal and external, due to stress, fatigue, environmental corrosion among other deleterious force-fields.

Strategic use of nanoparticle sensors with unique photonic or acoustic fingerprints, embedded in the engineered to order nanocomposite bulk has demonstrated to impart a degree of intelligence, permitting remote monitoring of cracks, fatigue or environmentally induced, as they are developed during operation, identifiable during periodic remote inspection. Test coupons made of a laminated nanocomposite with smart sensors layered in its bulk, are being developed, and tested to establish the concept. Salient results from testing of the composite will be provided at the end of this project, establishing pathway to scaling up and commercialization. The key impact of extending this technology to the offshore wind industry will be to enable a step-change in maintenance safety by enabling the potential to perform human-less inspection of components such as turbine rotor blades.