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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. Heterogeneous microstructure as banded martensite and ferrite/pearlite decreases the ductility of the material affecting the fatigue propagation resistance.

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