The primary focus of this paper is on the use of surface active agents (surfactants) to modify the properties of Portland cements for well cementing operations. Surfactants, as abroad class of compounds, have been largely ignored as additives to improve the performance of cements for well applications. Use of surface active agents in cements is primarily within two main functions – retarding agents and dispersing agents. The surface active agents currently used for these two functions do not provide the benefits that other types of surfactants can provide.
The types of surfactants discussed here are distinctly different in functional groups, physical characteristics (molecular weights), solution properties and effect on cement properties than presently used surface active agents. The potential widespread benefit from the use of these materials in cement formulations can be seen. Some of the benefits which can be realized by incorporating the types of surfactants studied in this work are: (1) improved interfacial sealing between cement and pipe, (2) less shrinkage of the cement during setting and hardening, (3) savings on cement materials and (4) improved cement properties at lower cost.