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Geo-Drill Explores Graphene

Thu, 19 December, 2019

Project Geo-Drill aims to reduce the cost of geothermal drilling via a technology that incorporates a bi-stable fluidic amplifier driven mud hammer, low cost 3D printed sensors and cables, drill monitoring system and coatings for improved tool lives.

Improving lifetime of drilling components through advances in materials science

Tools working in geothermal drilling environments are subjected to compressive forces from repeated impact and rotation, abrasion, and erosive wear resulting in lower tool lifetime. Geo-Drill technology focuses on proposition of new base materials and hard-facing coatings with potential to improve the durability and longevity of the drilling components.

Graphene oxide enhanced coatings 

Graphene oxide (GO) is an incredibly versatile compound that allows facile functionalisation with wide range of moieties with a controllable level of oxidation. The ability to tune the particular form of GO, lends itself uniquely as a component in a wide variety of matrices for coatings developments -  the GO can be adapted to optimise the performance for enhanced adhesion and dispersion properties and improved resistance to corrosion and abrasion. There are numerous examples of outstanding coating properties being achieved with GO being incorporated into polymeric matrices such as polyurethane, PTFE, polyamide and epoxy, often at low loadings of <1wt%, as well as being used directly to coat metal surfaces. Exploiting its extraordinary properties, Geo-Drill is working towards development of modified graphene oxide to be incorporated in materials and coatings to improve the lifetime of the drilling components. The coating work is pioneered by partner Graphenea, a technology company based in San Sebastian, Spain. Graphenea specialises in the synthesis of graphene in two different formats: graphene films and graphene oxide (GO) derivatives and have capacity to produce these materials at large scales - up to 1 tonne of GO per year.