214. EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF PROPPANT PARTICLE-PARTICLE INTERACTION MICROMECHANICS DURING FLOW AND TRANSPORT IN THE FRACTURE
Department: Structural Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Ingrid Tomac
Name: Lan Luo
Grad Year: 2016
This research presents results of an experimental study of the micromechanical proppant behavior during settling in a narrow smooth fracture. This fundamental analysis seeks to better understand dynamics of particle interactions in a dense phase slurry on a small particle size scale, representing proppant settling in narrow hydraulic fractures. The Geo Particle Image Velocimetry (GeoPIV) method was used for analyzing the movements of proppants during settling of both singular particle and an agglomerate of particles in a slot cell. The results from this experimental study give new insights to the limitations of Stokes? law which ignores the effect of particle ? wall interaction where the ratio of particle size and slot aperture increases. The slurry settling velocity depends on the relationship between settlement, particle concentration and occurrence of particle agglomeration. The measured results, including vertical velocities and displacement vectors of singular particle and agglomerated particles, were compared with previously published theoretical and empirical relationships. It can be seen that the forming of the agglomeration of particles not only depends on the particle concentration but also depends on the fluid viscosity. The higher viscosity of fluid can cause more agglomerations during the settling when can be presented as the average stable settling velocity of the higher viscosity fluid is much lower than the average stable settling velocity in lower viscosity fluid.
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