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One of the most common problems with drill pipe is thread damage, which can be prevented by keeping the threads clean. If pipe is removed from the rack, always use thread protectors. Every connection should be coated with a copper-based thread compound before being made. This compound helps to prevent galling, provides a good seal and controls the friction properties. Make certain the drive chuck or saver sub’s threads are good. These threads are going to be made up with every piece of drill pipe so a quick visual inspection or the use of a thread profile gage will improve the life of the entire string.


Vise alignment is critical so the drill pipe must be centered properly in the vise for make-up with the next connection. When drill pipe connections are not lining up properly, this can lead to stabbing damage to the threads. Most of the time, repositioning of the front or rear of the rig will correct this problem. Also, make sure to periodically change your vise jaw dies.


Know the desired make-up torque of the connection. Every different drill pipe thread has different minimal make-up torque specs. These can be obtained from your drill pipe vendor of choice. If a connection is not made up properly, there is a big risk of an over torque situation down hole. An over torque condition will damage your tool joints and commonly create fatigue cracking, eventually leading to a failure.


Just like any wear part, drill pipe has a lifecycle and will wear out. Choosing the right drill pipe and maintaining that drill string daily will not only increase its service life, but will also increase the reliability that minimizes any pipe failure-related delays in the field, as well as increase your profitability by getting the most return out of your drill pipe investment.


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