Practical Failure Analysis

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 47–54 | Cite as

Role of microstructure in sucker rod string failures in oil well production

  • Sofiane Benhaddad
  • Glen Lee
Peer Reviewed Articles


Sucker-rod pumps are operating in very aggressive environments in oil well production. The combined effect of a corrosive environment and significant mechanical loads contribute to frequent cases of failure of the rod string during operation. Standards and recommendations have been developed to control and avoid those failures. This study presents various failure cases of sucker rods in different applications. The heat treatment of the steel material and the resulting microstructure are an important factor in the behavior of the sucker rod. A spheroidized microstructure presents a weaker resistance to corrosion affecting the rod life. Non-metallic inclusions are a pitting preferential site leading to fatigue crack initiation. Heterogenous microstructure as banded martensite and ferrite/pearlite decreases the ductility of the material affecting the fatigue propagation resistance.


corrosion-fatigue inclusions pitting steel microstructure sucker rod 


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Copyright information

© ASM International - The Materials Information Society 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofiane Benhaddad
    • 1
  • Glen Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.Global Thermoelectric Inc.CalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Alliance Engineering and Inspection Ltd.CalgaryCanada

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