Meeting The Challenge of the North Seas

2010 update: fatigue life reset to zero and 15 year operational life extension

Applied Ultrasonics was hired to treat an offshore oil drilling rig in the North Sea. Built in 1979, the offshore drilling rig had developed deep stresses from years of high demand work in the face of some the harshest operating conditions in the world. In the North Sea, a drilling rig takes a constant beating and welds are exposed to enormous stresses coupled with the corrosive saltwater environment.

Applied Ultrasonics uses a patented technology called, Ultrasonic Impact Technology (UIT) ultrasonic treatment for metal improvement of a wide range of metals, removing weaknesses and reducing metal fatigue while extending the life of critical parts and structures.

Applied Ultrasonics’ quick-reaction team was mobilized to treat welds inside and out on the cross bracing (the middle columns, K-joints, outer columns / chain lockers) using Applied Ultrasonics’ PLC 05 portable equipment. The team got in, treated the high stress areas and got out with minimal time on the site, ensuring uninterrupted workflow while the offshore drilling rig was in dry-dock.

Applied Ultrasonics’ PLC 05 portable equipment was used to treat welds that were deep inside enclosed areas, thus imparting compressive stresses and stress relief in areas that are inaccessible by other methods. The results were successful in extending fatigue life by a factor of 6-8 while reducing overall downtime.

About The Client

Applied Ultrasonics’ client is a leading provider of diversified services for the oil and gas and offshore oil and gas industry. The Company performs contract drilling services with its fleet of mobile offshore drilling units located in key markets worldwide, including the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Middle East, Mexico, the North Sea, Brazil, West Africa and India. The fleet count includes five drilling rigs under construction.

About Applied Ultrasonics

Applied Ultrasonics is the world leader in the design and delivery of Ultrasonic Impact Technology solutions, equipment and service for heavy manufacturing industries worldwide and currently owns 5 patents, 46 partner patent applications and numerous more patents pending. Applied Ultrasonics is based in Birmingham, AL with offices in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Contact: Taylor Hanes
Business Development Manager, Applied Ultrasonics