Preparation of Drilling Fluids

The main component of drilling fluids is clay (bentonite) particles finely dispersed in water, which together with barite and hematite form a muddy dispersion.

The Process


A mixer is used to mix and disperse the bentonite powder with water. Clay (bentonite particles) must be finely dispersed to activate the gelling effect of the drilling fluid. This requires shear forces. As the droplet size decreases, the stability of the dispersion increases, but so does its viscosity. The mixer has to compensate for this by the emulsion formation of the bentonite particles in water through stronger stirring.


The Problem


Agglomerate formation at the agitator due to the gelling effect and particle size minimisation pose a challenge to the technical implementation of the agitator.

In addition, phase separation between oil and water can occur, which affects the stability of the dispersion.


The Solution


The integration of an 'Ultrashall Akustik Durschfluss Aggregat' (UADA) in the return line to the mixer leads to a significant improvement in the product properties, as the particles can be reduced in size by means of cavitation technology.


A schematic of the Drilling Fluids preparation process using UADA is as shown below:





The Advantages


The RAPTECH technology is able to break up even hard agglomerates by intensive shearing action without additional rotors/stators. Thus, powders can be dispersed quickly and efficiently in water and produced into a stable oil-water dispersion.


The Ultrasonic Acoustic flow unit can also be easily retrofitted into existing systems and ensures an increased yield due to the fine reduced droplet size distribution.