Solid Expandable Tubular (SET) technology is a recent development in petroleum exploration and drilling. It has provided successful solutions for various difficult problems such as zonal isolation, aged fields, deteriorated casings, difficult-to-access and uneconomical reservoirs, etc. Also, SETs have helped achieve the long-desired target of mono-diameter wells. SET technology is still under development, but has proved its worth to the energy sector, especially as it is also environment friendly. In conformation with prevalent American Petroleum Institute (API) standards, only steel tubulars are being used up to now for SET applications. Though these tubulars have high strength, their major drawbacks are large weight, low formability, and susceptibility to corrosion. This necessitates large expansion forces and large support structure. If we use light-weight metals having high formability (such as aluminum alloys) for SET applications, these problems (related to manufacturability and productivity) can be minimized. Consequently, drilling and other related costs may be cut down significantly. Even in the face of these possible advantages over steel, aluminum has not been considered as a choice for SET by the industry. This paper presents some interesting results about comparison of stress and strain levels, expansion force, surplus deformation, contact stresses, thickness variation, and hardening parameter when using steel and aluminum SETs, in both vertical and horizontal wells.
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