A systematic study of various temporary and permanent clay stabilizers was conducted with assorted binary blends of bentonite and silica flour. A specific stabilizer's performance is directly correlated to the type and loading of the inhibitor and particular ratio of existing inorganic substrate. Results exhibited high performance correlation; response surface general topography is dependent upon the temporary or permanent characteristics of the stabilizer.

Studies comprised combined mixture, single numeric, optimal, design of experiment and performance test data gathering utilizing a low-pressure fluid loss cell. A predetermined concentration of unadulterated sodium bentonite and 325-mesh silica flour were blended into water at a specific RPM and duration in the presence of a particular stabilizer then placed into a the cell, sealed, and pressure was applied. Increased Darcy leak off slope values are reliable, accurate indicators of increased stabilizer performance thus each slope was calculated and plotted versus stabilizer dosage and inorganic substrate ratio.

KCl was studied from 0 to 8 weight percent and used as a comparative guide for all stabilizers tested with the balance tested in their "as is" state from 0.0 to 2.0 gallons per thousand gallons. Temporary stabilizers typically provided a consistent topography with respect to performance, with a 20/80 bentonite/ silica flour ratio yielding the highest performance. Bimodal maximum performance inorganic ratios were present for permanent stabilizers tested. KCl dosage offset lab results correlate well with reported field application results. At higher stabilizer loadings superior performance relative to KCl was evident.

Traditionally clay stabilizer selection is based upon Capillary Suction Time and Roller Oven testing methods. This alternate bentonite and silica flour comprehensive matrix clay stabilizer selection method is consistent, continuous, portable, field friendly and applicable over a wide range of stabilizer and variable inorganic matrix types.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.