In recent years, the quality of oil well cements has become increasingly variable. Using a cement characterization program provides a highly reliable means of determining the relative quality of a proposed cement. Furthermore, results can be used to determine the origin of poor performances by some cements in the field. This paper briefly presents techniques such as calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and pycnometry which provide useful tools for supplementing conventional testing methods. In addition, several case studies are presented which use these same techniques to solve field.

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