Hardide Coatings the provider of unique ultra-hard surface engineering technology, has secured an order from the Expro Group as its first new customer for its US$5 million coatings facility in Houston, Texas.
The order is the result of over 18 months of close co-operation between the companies to engineer and test a solution to increase the wear resistance of downhole tractor tool grippers. Hardide has made several prototypes for Expro that have been run in harsh environments, proving to extend the life time of components.
UK-based Hardide Coatings has developed a unique tungsten carbide based coating which offers an unprecedented combination of ultra-hardness, toughness, low friction and chemical resistance when applied to components made from steel, alloy and other materials. Together with features such as its ability to coat internal surfaces, Hardide is proven to outperform competing technologies across many measures. The patented coating is widely used around the world in aggressive wear or chemical environments primarily in the oil and gas, valve, pump and aerospace industries.
Hardide completed a purpose-built 17,000 sq. ft. coatings facility in Houston in September 2006. The plant houses the first of a number of state-of-the-art CVD (chemical vapour deposition) vacuum furnaces together with pre-treatment, inspection, QA and finishing support equipment.
Jim Murray-Smith, chief executive officer of Hardide plc said: “The response to our presence in Houston has been highly satisfactory and we have parts in test from over 30 of the region’s top players. It can take a good few months to go through the engineering and testing of Hardide and it is fitting that our first new US revenues have been generated from such a technically innovative and supportive company as the Expro Group. We are confident of being able to announce further contracts in the near future as they come on-line.”
The Expro Group’s cased hole director, Francis Neill, said: “Our company is at the forefront of new technology and innovation and we are, therefore, pleased to do business with a company like Hardide, which has proved to offer our components optimized performance and extended life. We are particularly pleased to be their first new customer as they establish their business in Houston.”