Shape memory polymer (SMP) foam is being studied for use in downhole sand-management applications. The process involves machining the shape memory polymer into the desired final geometric shape profile. The shape profile is altered to the desired run-in profile. For reactive sand-management applications, the initial profile is a tubular shape with a diameter greater than the anticipated openhole diameter. The geometric shape is then altered to achieve the desired run-in diameter. When deployed downhole, the shape memory polymer must have good filtration characteristics and adequate permeability to provide efficient sand control without affecting well productivity. Foam permeability should be a minimum of 25 times greater than the formation permeability to minimize wellbore productivity risks. Filtration characteristics should prevent formation sand movement and have a minimal plugging risk.
During oil and gas production, the shape memory polymer provides an initial, minimal contact pressure to help stabilize the borehole. In the scenario of a collapsing wellbore, a dynamic strain test is needed to characterize the resulting effects on the permeability and filtration properties of this shape memory polymer. This paper discusses the development of a filtration test during dynamic loading, and presents the filtration results of shape memory polymer materials and conventional gravel pack techniques during dynamic strain loading.