Tube expansion under various down-hole end conditions

F. J. Sanchez, Omar AlAbri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Fossil hydrocarbons are indispensables commodities that motorize the global economy, and oil and gas are two of those conventional fuels that have been extracted and processed for over a century. During last decade, operators face challenges discovering and developing reservoirs commonly found up to several kilometers underground, for which advanced technologies are developed through different research programs. In order to optimize the current processes to drill and construct oil/gas wells, a large number of mechanical technologies discovered centuries ago by diverse sectors are implemented by well engineers. In petroleum industry, the ancient tube forming manufacturing process founds an application once well engineers intend to produce from reservoirs that cannot be reached unless previous and shallower troublesome formations are isolated. Solid expandable tubular is, for instance, one of those technologies developed to mitigate drilling problems and optimize the well delivery process. It consists of in-situ expansion of a steel-based tube that is attained by pushing/pulling a solid mandrel, which permanently enlarge its diameters. This non-linear expansion process is strongly affected by the material properties of the tubular, its geometry, and the pipe/mandrel contact surface. The anticipated force required to deform long sections of the pipe in an uncontrollable expansion environment, might jeopardize mechanical properties of the pipe and the well structural integrity. Scientific-based solutions, that depend on sound theoretical formulation and are validated through experiments, will help to understand possible tubular failure mechanisms during its operational life. This work is aimed to study the effect of different loading/boundary conditions on mechanical/physical properties of the pipe after expansion. First, full-scale experiments were conducted to evaluate the geometrical and behavioral changes. Second, simulation of deformation process was done using finite element method and validated against experimental results to assess the effects on the post-expansion tubular properties. Finally, the authors bring a comparison study where in a semi-analytical model is used to predict the force required for expansion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Engineering Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Casing
  • FEA
  • On- and Off-shore.
  • Solid Expandable Tubular (SET) technology
  • Tube expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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