McCoy Global Inc. is a leading provider of high-performance drilling and completion equipment, expert engineering support, and responsive service to customers in more than 100 countries. McCoy Global’s products support tubular running operations that enhance wellbore integrity and assist with collecting critical data for the energy industry.
Seeking to increase the power density of an already popular product by almost 50%, McCoy Global reached out to QuesTek to explore a more robust material for a specific gear.
Prior to engaging with QuesTek, McCoy Global was utilizing AISI 9310 steel in its pinion gear for a hydraulic power tong used for running drill pipes. The tong was rated at 80,000 ft-lbs, and there were never any major issues with the gear train. A few years after its introduction to the market, McCoy’s customers began inquiring about upgrading the torque capacity to 100,000 ft-lbs. This is where the problems began. During testing at the higher torque rating there were issues of concern which McCoy thought may lead to quality issues with the current material being used.
Solution And Outcomes
What McCoy Global needed was higher performance gear steel that could reliably meet its stringent pinion gear requirements.
“We read about Ferrium in a trade magazine, and that is when we contacted QuesTek and ordered some material for prototyping and testing,” said Mark Gravouia, McCoy Global Product Manager.
He was referring to Ferrium® C61™ steel (AMS 6517), QuesTek’s computationally-designed alloy and a performance upgrade vs. previously used high performance gear steels such as AISI 9310 steel. Its key features were what McCoy was looking for in a material:
- High strength and toughness for weight reduction or increased torque/power density
- Carburizable for high surface hardenability, providing improved wear and bending fatigue
- High hardenability for robust thermal processing
- Elevated service temperature resistance and ability to survive emergency temperature spikes
“Since working with Ferrium C61, we have optimized the pinion gears to enhance the functionality of our customers’ tongs without any reported failures for use across dozens of builds,” Gravouia added.
In parallel with McCoy’s successful adoption of Ferrium C61 steel that enabled an improved product offering, C61 has additionally been qualified and is in use for a wide range of other demanding applications, providing similar lightweighting and durability improvements, for example:
- Forward and aft rotor transmission shafts on Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter Block II upgrade
- High Performance motorsports including transmission gears, dog rings, camshafts input shafts and pinions
- Aerospace actuators
- Gears for the Venus rover
Ferrium C61 steel is commercially available under license agreement with Carpenter Technology and continues to be evaluated, qualified and adopted in new applications.
About QuesTek Innovations
For over 20 years, QuesTek has applied its metallurgical expertise and ICME technologies to efficiently create new materials meeting mission-specific properties. QuesTek has been engaged across a variety of industries to optimize commodity materials and design novel materials and processes for over 100 commercial and government clients in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information about QuesTek’s modeling and design capabilities, please visit www.questek.com. Additional news and blog posts are also available at www.questek.com/press-media.