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Research Article

Failure analysis and structure


optimization of the connecting thread
of driving shaft in positive
displacement motor

Advances in Mechanical Engineering


2016, Vol. 8(6) 111
The Author(s) 2016
DOI: 10.1177/1687814016652313
aime.sagepub.com

Xiaohua Zhu, Dian Lin and Jianan Li

Abstract
Due to high efficiency in helping breaking rocks, positive displacement motor has a widespread application in the field of
oil and gas drilling engineering. However, service life of positive displacement motor becomes shorter resulting from failure of the driving shaft thread. The three-dimensional simulation model of driving shafts connecting thread has been
developed based on the principle of virtual work, Von Mises yield criterion, and contact nonlinear theory. This article
has put forward the plan to optimize structure of driving shaft with straight thread based on the design principle of
double-shouldered thread; besides, fatigue life of driving shaft with straight thread before and after optimization has been
assessed by resorting to the multiaxial fatigue principle and BrownMiller critical plane rule. In line with research results,
mechanical properties of driving shaft with straight thread are superior to those of driving shaft with taper thread.
Under the load of axial drill pressure with fluctuation and alternating torque, fatigue life of driving shaft with straight
thread after optimization is greatly improved. This article has not only provided basis for optimizing connecting thread of
driving shaft but also boasts of high engineering value for improving service life of positive displacement motor.
Keywords
Positive displacement motor, driving shaft, thread, failure analysis, double-shouldered thread, fatigue life

Date received: 22 December 2015; accepted: 6 May 2016


Academic Editor: Yongming Liu

Introduction
With constant improvement on drilling technology,
and popularization of direction well technology, horizontal well technology, and sidetracking well technology (STH), market demand of positive displacement
motor (PDM) is on increase. Taking Chinese market as
an example, output and sales of PDM grow very fast.
PDM with longer service life is necessary for efficient
drilling. Especially in deep well and offshore drilling,
when the life of PDM doubles, the cost saved will be
more than five times the price of drill. Take the Chinese
5000-m-deep well as an example: in case of failure of
PDM, it takes 1 day to restore the operation, and drilling cost is significantly increased. Therefore, PDM

vendors take extension of PDM service life as the


research focus.
When working in the bottom hole, PDM usually
needs to bear a few tons or even tens of tons of axial
load, aside from strong impact load. Driving shaft is the
key part of connecting the drill bit with the power parts
of PDM. Among the driving shaft assembly, upper

College of Mechatronic Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University,


Chengdu, P.R. China
Corresponding author:
Xiaohua Zhu, College of Mechatronic Engineering, Southwest Petroleum
University, Chengdu 610500, P.R. China.
Email: zxhth113@163.com

Creative Commons CC-BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
(http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without
further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/
open-access-at-sage).
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Advances in Mechanical Engineering

thread of driving shaft is very easily damaged because it


directly transmits torque and withstands hydraulic thrust
of motor. Therefore, it severely restricts service life of
PDM. Affected by short life of driving shaft (mainly
arising out of failure of root of upper thread thereof) to
a large extent, service life of PDM is only approximately
120150 h.1 At present, notwithstanding multiple types
of threads, systemic analysis on end thread has not been
found out. Thus, it is of utmost engineering value to conduct research on mechanical properties of connecting
thread of driving shaft.
In recent years, many researchers have studied the
structure and mechanical behavior of the connecting
thread of petroleum drilling tools. AR Shahani and
SMH Sharifi2 of K. N. Toosi University of Technology
completed the contact stress analysis of tool joint and
utilized formulas to forecast the fatigue life of tool joint.
According to the research result, maximum value of
stress concentration factor is located in the root of first
thread tooth of pin joint; NH Dao and H Sellami3 of
Paris Higher Mining University used the Walker
Fatigue Crack Growth Rate Law to study the evolution
of parameters of the surface fatigue crack growth process about drill pipe; C Santus4 took advantage of critical distance theory and optimized Whohler curve to
explain the fretting fatigue between steel material and
aluminum alloy in tool joint; Y-H Lin et al.5 applied
contact mechanics theory to establish the quasi threedimensional finite element semi-analytical theory, deriving the displacement and stiffness matrix of drilling
thread under any load; S-L Chen et al.6 analyzed the
connecting thread of the drill pipe using the elastic finite
element method and then found out it could reduce
thread stress by adding the stress relief groove and
changing the taper of the joint; X-H Zhu et al.7 provided an effective guidance for reducing the thread gluing accidents by establishing a new three-dimensional
thread structure. However, analyses of the thread of
drilling rig are mainly focused on drill pipe and collar,
while research on the mechanical properties and fatigue
life of the thread of PDM is relatively rare.
Based on studying the static mechanical properties
of the upper thread of driving shaft, this article analyzed and compared the fatigue life of different types of
thread under variable load. After optimizing existing
structure, this article again conducts research on fatigue
lifes sensitivity toward load component. Therefore,
such research is of utmost engineering value to improve
service life of PDM.

Analysis of failure and material properties


of thread of driving shaft
Pursuant to domestic types of upper connecting thread
of driving shaft commonly used by vendors, F172 mm

Figure 1. (a) Upper direct thread and (b) taper thread of


F172 mm driving shaft.

Figure 2. Failed thread arising out of erosion and fatigue failure


of thread teeth.

PDM is taken as an example. Figure 1 shows two common kinds of non-API8 threads. Non-API thread is
composed of straight thread and taper thread. Straight
thread mainly differs in terms of number of thread
teeth, while taper thread mainly differs with respect to
number of thread teeth and taper, generally speaking,
taper of such taper thread is 1:6.
The down hole drilling condition in field driving is
extremely harsh. High temperature, high frequency
impact, and stickslip oscillation pose serious damage
to down hole tools. Driving shaft thread serves as a
crucial part of down hole drilling rig to transmit axial
load and driving torque. It has been an important factor to affect service life of PDM whether the thread of
driving shaft is subject to fatigue destruction under
high impact and alternating torque. Figure 2 represents
several thread failures commonly encountered: broken
end thread tooth, thread root rupture, and so on.

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Table 1. Test results of mechanical performance of 42CrMo.


Heat treatment state

Samples

Test temperature (C)

Yield strength (MPa)

Tensile strength (MPa)

Tempering

1
2
3

Room temperature

875
930
830
>827, <1138

1020
1040
970
>965

API Spec5DP

So as to locate reasons for thread failure, mechanical properties of material of driving shaft shall be
studied. Driving shaft of PDM is made of 42CrMo
alloy. When machining driving shaft thread, the
material rotates and there is an axial feed of material
at the same time while the cutting tool stays put.
Heat treatment of 42CrMo alloy is composed of
annealing, and hardening and tempering. With
respect to annealing, sustain temperature at 850C
for 3 h and cool the furnace till 400C while discharge
side adopts air cooling. During hardening and tempering, maintain temperature at 850C for 1 h and
make tempering in 560C after oil quenching. Y-T Li
et al.9 have done an experiment on mechanical properties of 42CrMo alloy, with results given in Table 1.
Test results of mechanical properties show that the
intensity of the three 42CrMo samples does not differ
much, and it means that homogeneity of 42CrMo alloy
is good; the tensile and yield strength of the material are
both in the range of API. Therefore, failure of upper
thread of driving shaft is not caused by material. Instead,
it may more likely arise out of easy failure of a certain
type of thread. In response to such hypothesis, simulation analysis on load-bearing performance of singleshouldered straight thread and taper thread is conducted.

Loading analysis of the thread of driving


shaft
Upper thread of the driving shaft is connected to the
diverter cap. Due to bending moment on underpart of
driving shaft and underpart TC bearing, upper thread
of driving shaft during operation is acted by axial variable load Fy and torsion load M. However, Cardan
shaft converts planetary plane motion into fixed axis
rotation of driving shaft. Thus, upper thread of driving
shaft bears radial load Fr changing with the direction
of rotation of Cardan shaft. With the vibration of drilling, such load also varies. Fr load (instantaneous) is
given in Figure 3. In Figure 3, rotor, Cardan shaft, and
driving shaft are shown from top to bottom, respectively. Fr is produced mainly because of the centrifugal
inertia force of the rotor and the Cardan shaft.
The centrifugal inertia force generated by the multithreaded rotor (suppose N headed) in motion is Fg10

Figure 3. Load bearing of parts of PDM.

Fg = mN 2 v2S e

where m is the mass of rotor, N is the number of threads


of the rotor, vS is the angular velocity of the auto rotation of the rotor, and e is the eccentric distance.
In the process of directional drilling, the centrifugal
inertia force generated by the Cardan shaft is Fzg
Fzg = Mz Rz v2r

where Mz is the mass of Cardan shaft, Rz is the centroid


of the rotation radius of Cardan shaft, and vr is the
angular velocity of the rotation of the Cardan shaft.
The upper part of rotor is the safety anti-drop device
of PDM. It is herein considered as hinged bearing,
which is marked as O1, and considering Cardan shaft
and rotor as research objects, the distance between O2
and O1 marked toward direction Z is Lg. The distance
between O2 and O toward Z is Lzg and the distance
between Frs active line and O1 is Lr. Take O as the
starting point of direction Z and make a sum of the
moments of O1, which is given as follows

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Advances in Mechanical Engineering

Figure 4. Load bearing of driving shaft with taper thread


(instantaneous).

Lzg

Figure 5. Load bearing of driving shaft with straight thread


(instantaneous).



Mz v2r Z tan u Lzg + Lg  Z dz

0
Lzg

Gg e  Z tan udz

0
Lzg
+ Lg





mN 2 v2S e Lzg + Lg  Z dz = Fr Lzg + Lg + Fn e

Lzg

3
Force exerted by Cardan shaft on the driving shaft
is same as Fr in magnitude, but opposite in direction.
Even under the non-deflection section, the driving shaft
also withstands bending momentum changing with the
rotating drilling bit.
This article focuses on researching the loading and
fatigue status of thread of driving shaft. In order to
simplify research and neglect minor factors, upper parts
of TC bearing and diverter cap are simplified during
model establishment. The loading models are shown in
Figures 4 and 5; the Y-axis is the direction of well drilling, in which Fr is the force generated by the centrifugal
inertia force of rotor and Cardan shaft, M is the actual
output torque, and Fy includes hydraulic thrust G1 produced by rotor and self-weight Gg of rotor and Cardan
shaft

Figure 6. Variable axial load borne to thread of driving shaft.

Fy = G + Gg

The bottom of PDM is connected to drill bit; therefore, the load borne to upper thread of the driving shaft
is almost same as the drill bit. In the meantime, they
simultaneously withstand variable axial load and torque, which are shown in Figures 6 and 7.11

Analysis on mechanical properties and


fatigue life of thread
Dynamic finite element model
The contact surface of the pin thread and the box
thread is a complex spatial spiral surface. Its force

Figure 7. Variable load of torque borne to thread of driving


shaft.

bearing analysis involves material nonlinearity, geometric nonlinearity, and contact nonlinearity.
Therefore, it is quite difficult to establish a complete
and accurate mathematical model and obtain the analytical solution. At present, the problem is solved by
finite element method.

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Figure 8. Finite element models of thread.

Table 2. Simulation parameters.


Poissons ratio

Modulus of elasticity (MPa)

Yield strength (MPa)

Friction coefficient of contact surface

0.3

2.1 3 105

930

0.114

For the 3D calculation of the thread joint, the implicit algorithm makes calculation difficult due to the
inconsistency of contact in between shoulder and mesh
surface of thread teeth under states such as separation,
adhesive contact, and slide contact. Besides, the existence of material and geometric nonlinearity further
increases difficulties of seeking solution.12 However,
the explicit method during calculation presents explicit
progression (iteration is not required). Thus, it is very
suitable for calculating high nonlinearity akin to 3D
thread mesh. Therefore, ABAQUS/Explicit algorithm
is adopted herein for simulation calculation.
Explicit algorithm uses the central difference method to
accomplish the time integration of the equations of
motion, and the dynamic conditions of the next incremental step are obtained using the dynamic conditions of the
previous incremental step.13 At the t moment, the dynamic
equilibrium equations of the nodes are as follows


ut = M 1 Pt  It

where M is the mass matrix of node, u is the displacement of node, P is an external force applied, and I is the
internal stress of element.
Making the time integration to formula (5) can calculate the speed and displacement of the node



Dtt + Dt + Dtt
t
u
u_ t + Dt = u_ tDt +
2
2
2

ut + Dt = ut + Dtt + Dt u_ t + Dt

According to the constitutive relation of the material, the element stress can be calculated


st + Dt = f st , de

where s is the element stress and e is the element strain.

Density (kg/m3)
7.85 3 103

Parameters of finite element model of thread of


driving shaft
A three-dimensional model is established according to
the type of connecting thread of the driving shaft of
F172 mm PDM. In order to establish the threedimensional thread model with high accuracy and computational efficiency, the dividing method of dividing
block is applied to complete the meshes of thread joint,
the fine mesh is applied in the thread segment, and the
sparse mesh is applied in the part far from the threaded
segment. Figure 8 shows the finite element models. The
element type is C3D8R. The specific parameters of the
finite element model are given in Table 2.

Connection control equation of thread


The finite element connection control equation of
thread is15

sij deij dv = xi dui ds


9
v

where sij is the Euler stress tensor, eij is the infinite


small strain in actual deformation, deij is the virtual
strain, xi is the load vector on the surface of the unit,
dui is the virtual displacement, and s is the superficial
area.

Comparative analysis of the stress between straight


thread and taper thread
In this part, stress analysis of straight thread and taper
thread of the driving shaft is accomplished, and the
working load of driving shaft is loaded to the finite element models: torque of 10 kN m and axial load of
150 kN. For the driving shaft with straight thread, this

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Advances in Mechanical Engineering

Table 3. Contrast of load bearing simulation result of upper direct thread and taper thread of driving shaft.

Maximum contact pressure (MPa)


Maximum Mises stress (MPa)

Pin straight thread

Pin taper thread

Box straight thread

Box taper thread

221
252

263
323

281
296

284
383

of taper thread is obviously higher than that of the


straight thread; contact pressure, to a certain extent,
reflects the sealing performance of the thread, and
therefore, in the condition of high sealing requirements,
the taper thread is a better choice for the driving shaft.
However, in most cases, the sealing performance
requirement of the thread of driving shaft is not very
high, and too large contact pressure will lead to thread
gluing accidents. Therefore, from the aspects of normal
working conditions and reduced probability of thread
gluing accidents, straight thread is preferred for the
driving shaft.

Analysis of fatigue life


Figure 9. Load-bearing analysis of box thread.

According to the load conditions of the driving shaft,


the static mechanical properties of the driving shaft are
analyzed, but the load conditions of driving shaft are
extremely complicated during the drilling process.
Therefore, it is necessary to carry out not only the static analysis of the structure but also the analysis and
calculation of fatigue life of dynamic loadtime process. Purely in terms of bearing stress state, analysis on
fatigue can be roughly divided into uniaxial and multiaxial fatigue. The fatigue damage of the upper thread
of driving shaft is a kind of typical non-proportional
multiaxial fatigue damage. However, cost arising out of
fatigue test is quite expensive, and adoption of proper
fatigue simulation model under the precondition of
saving cost may also produce results with higher accuracy; therefore, FE-SAFE fatigue analysis software is
adopted herein for fatigue life analysis.

Figure 10. Load-bearing analysis of pin thread.

article only discusses the part connected to diverter


cap. Figures 9 and 10 show the comparison of contact
pressure and Mises stress between straight thread and
taper thread.
Big Mises stress and contact pressure are produced
when the thread withstands axial pressure and torque
load, which is given in Table 3.
Table 3 shows that the Mises stress and contact pressure of driving shaft with straight thread are both lower
than those of driving shaft with taper thread.
Therefore, under the action of working conditions with
large torque and large load, straight thread is preferred
for the driving shaft. Meanwhile, the contact pressure

Verification of fatigue life calculation model. To verify the


accuracy of the fatigue life calculation model, threedimensional finite element model of thread for the same
structure is established based on NOV Grants fatigue
test data16 of REG-6/8 joint. Again, fatigue calculation
method herein is used to calculate fatigue life of REG6/8 structure under the same load condition, with contrasting results given in Figure 11.
The data that NOV Grant company gets from fatigue experiment toward REG6-6/8 joint have four
groups, which are regarded as the abscissas of the spots
of fatigue life dispersion zone in Figure 11; the simulation results of fatigue life are taken as ordinate of the
spots of fatigue life dispersion zone in Figure 11. Based

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Figure 11. Comparison of simulation results and experimental


results.

Figure 12. Torquetime process.

on contrast and analysis results of simulation and


experiment results, all spots are found to be located in
double-dispersion zone, indicating a high consistency
between simulation results and experiment results. And
again, all the material parameters used in simulation
model are lower limit as provided by the prevailing
standard, while those of materials used in actual production are usually higher than specified value. As a
result, the simulation results and experiment results
have highest similarity, with smallest error of service
life only at 2%, and the calculation results are inclined
in the safe side. So, the fatigue life calculation model
established herein can be used to conduct calculation
related to fatigue life of thread joints.
Figure 13. Axial loadtime process.

Loadtime process. Driving shaft during drilling mainly


withstands three types of alternating loads: radial load
Fr, axial weight on bit, and torque, but the three loads
changed according to the time and the revolution of
rotor. Moreover, the peak values of the three loads
have phase difference with the passage of time, and it
belongs to non-proportional loading. The variation
rule of load is subject to the random vibration theory.
When the drilling bit breaks rocks, vibration characteristics vary around an average value.
Figures 12 and 13 represent torquetime process and
axial loadtime process, respectively, in a depth of
4 km calculated by full well dynamics equation with the
time span of 3 s. During this time span, very violent
radial load, axial load, and torque experienced by the
driving shaft pose very big influence on the fatigue life
of structure.
The size and direction of radial load Fr change with
the revolution of rotor; in Figure 3, point O, x-axis, and
y-axis form the plane OXY. Set the angle between Fr
and x-axis as b. The Fr is decomposed into Fx and Fy in

the two directions of XY, so the relationship between


them is
Fx = Fr 3 cos b

10

Fy = Fr 3 sin b

11

The rotation speed of rotor is 150 r/min, recognizing


the size of Fr as 1, so in the period of 3 s, the load
time processes of Fx and Fy are shown in Figures 14
and 15, respectively.
Take the analysis example of this article as an example and set 4 km as drilling depth and the bore diameter
as 213 mm. According to Hamilton principle and finite
element method, the equation of dynamic model of a
3D full well drilling string system is calculated as
follows17

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+ C U_ + KU = F
MU

12

Advances in Mechanical Engineering

Figure 14. Loadtime process of Fx.


Figure 16. S-N curve of 42CrMo.1922

Coffin equation with the fatigue damage parameters


that he proposed to estimate fatigue life. So far, the
critical plane method is the most accurate calculation
model of multiaxial fatigue. The equation of critical
plane method is
b

c
s9f 
Dg max
+ ken = 1:65
2Nf + 1:75e9f 2Nf
13
2
E
where s9f is the fatigue strength coefficient, b is the fatigue strength exponent, e9f is the fatigue ductility coefficient, c is the fatigue ductility exponent, E is the elastic
model, Nf is the fatigue life, en = D(e1  e3 )=2 is the normal strain, and k is a constant.

Figure 15. Loadtime process of Fy.

where M is the mass matrix of the drill string system, C


is the damping matrix of the drill string system, K is the
is the genstiffness matrix of the drill string system, U
eralized acceleration matrix of the drill string system, U_
is the generalized velocity matrix of the drill string system, U is the generalized displacement matrix of the
drill string system, and F is the load matrix of the drill
string system.
Material parameters and fatigue calculation model. The driving shaft is made of 42CrMo alloy, which meets with
requirements of poor working conditions of PDM. FESAFEs material library contains Seeger18 approximation algorithm. Materials tensile limit (ultimate tensile
strength (UTS)) and the elastic modulus can be used to
generate approximate material fatigue data. Figure 16
shows S-N curve of 42CrMo.
Brown and Miller23 proposed a critical plane theory
to regard the range of maximum shear strain Dg max
and normal strain en as the fatigue damage parameters.
Brown replaced the strain parameter of Manson

Fatigue analysis results. Under the action of alternating


load, all the fatigue failure of straight thread and taper
thread happened. Fatigue damages are both in the first
effectively engaging thread tooth of pin thread. This is
consistent with the engineering practice. The fatigue
analysis results are compared in Table 4.
The time span of alternating load is 3 s, so the minimum fatigue life of straight thread and taper thread are
225 and 162 h, respectively. The results show that the
driving shaft with straight thread has higher fatigue life,
and stress level is one of the indicators which affect the
fatigue life, also subject to influence by the loading
form, stress concentration, and so on.

Structural optimization and quantitative


analysis of load components
Structural optimization
From the foregoing analysis, it is known that the fatigue life of driving shaft with straight thread is higher
than that of driving shaft with taper thread. But the
existing straight thread structure still has the improvement space. Based on the existing structure and API

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Table 4. Fatigue life simulation results of straight thread and taper thread of driving shaft.

Straight thread
Taper thread

Position of the minimum fatigue life

Minimum fatigue

First thread tooth of pin thread


First thread tooth of pin thread

105.433
105.291

Figure 17. Structure chart of the upper thread of driving shaft:


(a) original structure and (b) optimized structure.
Figure 18. Sinusoidal loads.

standard, this article proposes an improved method for


the connecting thread of the driving shaft (Figure 17).
In the original structure, the top of the driving shaft
is connected to the diverter cap. On account of that,
there is a tool withdrawal groove at the end of the box
thread of diverter cap, so the end face of driving shaft
has a certain distance from the internal end face of the
diverter cap. According to the design principle of
double-shouldered thread, the convex table, having the
same width with tool withdrawal groove, is machined
before preparing upper connecting thread of driving
shaft, and the convex table contacts with inside end
surface of diverter cap to form supporting shoulder so
that anti-torsion performance of upper connecting
thread of driving shaft is thus improved. In the meantime, so as to enhance anti-bending performance of
thread, key structure parameters of thread are optimized based on orthogonal optimization method.
Conclusions are thus drawn: thread form angle: 90
and pitch: 3 teeth/in; based on such conclusion, antibending strength of thread is thus greatly improved.

Influence of axial load component on the fatigue life


of the thread of driving shaft
The PDM is located in the upper part of the drill bit;
therefore, the axial load of the PDM is pressure. In case
of pure study on axial load, even under very rare
extremely high work condition (instantaneous drill
pressure more than 500 kN), axial load exerts very little
influence on fatigue. Therefore, pure study on axial

loads influence on the fatigue life of driving shaft is of


no big significance. Therefore, research shall have its
focus on the influence on fatigue life of driving shaft by
bending moment and torque.

Influence of torque load component on the fatigue


life of the thread of driving shaft
During the drilling process, the PDM functions to
transmit torque. On account of the influence of the
make-up torque and the down hole working conditions, the torque of the172 mm PDM is not more than
20 kN m, and the torque has large effect on the fatigue
life of thread; therefore, the fatigue life of the single-/
double-shouldered driving shaft thread is studied when
the torque load is 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 kN m.
The definition of the life prediction dispersion
zone is


NS ND
Dispersion zone = Max
,
ND NS

14

where NS is the predicted fatigue life of singleshouldered driving shaft thread and ND is the predicted
fatigue life of double-shouldered driving shaft thread.
In comparing the sensitivity of the fatigue life of the
single-/double-shouldered driving shaft thread for each
load component, all the load spectra are expressed by
sinusoidal load. Figure 18 shows the sinusoidal load.
Figure 19 shows the calculation results of fatigue life.

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Advances in Mechanical Engineering

Figure 19. Fatigue life dispersion zone of torque.

Figure 20. Fatigue life dispersion zone of bending moment.

Figure 19 shows that torque ranges from 10 to


20 kN m, the fatigue life of double-shouldered thread is
much higher than that of single-shouldered thread, and
all the spots are not located in double-dispersion zone.
In the structure design, the fatigue limit of the structure
is usually based on the load cycle times of 107; on this
basis, the torque fatigue limit of single-shouldered
thread is located in the range of 1012 kN m. If the torque load exceeds this range, the load cycle times will
not reach 107. However, the torque fatigue limit of
double-shouldered thread is located in the range of 14
16kN m, which has an increase of 14.3%37.5% compared to the single-shouldered thread. It is thus concluded that the anti-torque performance and fatigue
life acted by torque of double-shouldered thread are far
superior to those of single-shouldered thread.

thread, and all the spots are not located in doubledispersion zone. The radial load fatigue limit (bending
moment fatigue limit) of single-shouldered thread is
located in the range of 8090 kN. If the radial load
exceeds this range, the load cycle times will not reach
107. However, the fatigue limit of radial load (bending
momentum) of double-shouldered thread is 120
140 kN, which has an increase of 25%42.8% compared with that of single-shouldered thread. It is thus
concluded that the anti-torque performance and bending fatigue limit of double-shouldered thread after modification have a great improvement compared to those
of single-shouldered thread.

Conclusion
1.

Influence of bending moment load component on the


fatigue life of the thread of driving shaft
At the angle build stage of drilling process, with the
constant change of build-up rate and the continuous
rotation of the drill bit, the driving shaft must be subjected to the bending moment M, and the size and
direction of M are constantly changing. To conduct a
quantitative calculation, the M is converted to a radial
load FM, and in addition, through formulas (10) and
(11), FM is decomposed into FMx and FMy, which are
perpendicular to each other.
The fatigue life of the single-/double-shouldered
driving shaft thread is studied when the FM are 80, 90,
110, 120, 140, and 150 kN. And the load spectra are
still expressed by sinusoidal load. Figure 20 shows the
calculation results of fatigue life.
Analogously, the radial load ranges from 80 to
150 kN, and the fatigue life of double-shouldered thread
is still much higher than that of single-shouldered

2.

The 3D numerical simulation model is used


herein to conduct the simulation of thread of
the driving shaft, and the fatigue life prediction
model is established based on the BM critical
plane rule. By comparing the calculation results
of the two models, the performance of the existing two kinds of thread structure is evaluated.
The calculation results are relatively in agreement with the actual data, and such an importance conclusion as straight thread is more
favorable for extending service life is thus
drawn. Under the same working conditions, the
fatigue life of the driving shaft with straight
thread is 28% higher than that of the driving
shaft with taper thread.
Based on the existing straight thread plan,
improvement measures are proposed herein.
After calculation based on the mathematic
model established herein, it is known that the
improvement plan may help increase anti-torque
fatigue life by 14.3%37.5% and bending

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11

moment fatigue limit by 25%42.8%; generally


speaking, improvement plan will significantly
improve service life of thread as long as approximately 300 h, just commensurate with return
drill. Therefore, such move will help greatly
save drilling cost.
Declaration of conflicting interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with
respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
article.

Funding
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
article: This work reported in this article was supported by
the Natural Science Fund for Outstanding Youth Science
Fund (Grant No. 51222406), New Century Excellent Talents
in University of China (NCET-12-1061), Youth Scientific
Research Innovation Team Project of Sichuan Province
(2014TD0025), International Cooperation Project of Sichuan
Science and Technology plan (2016HH0008).

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