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Experimental study of non-Newtonian displacement flows in vertical eccentric annuli Storey, Stefan

Abstract

The main focus of this work is to experimentally analyze displacement flows in vertical eccentric annuli. The experiment models the industrial process of oil well cementing and examines interface dynamics during the process of fluid displacement. Interface dynamics are described phenomenologically in terms of three broad classifications, namely steady, unsteady and static. Experiments were devised to simulate all three interface types and the results are used to analyse the displacement flows in terms of displacement kinematics and also in terms of displacement efficiency. Specifically, three main fluids are are investigated. Xanthan and Carbopol® solutions are used to simulate cement and drilling muds, and glycerin is used as an experimental control. The interface dynamics are captured by a simple optical technique and the images post-processed to ascertain interface speed and elongation and displacement efficiency. The results are compared to numerical predictions computed using a 1-D lubrication model. We conclude with a discussion on the significance of results achieved in this work together with relative merits and limitations of the experimental technique

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