Non-Newtonian annular vertical flow of sand suspensions in aqueous solutions of guar gum

R. M. Pérez, S. Siquier, N. Ramírez, A. J. Müller, A. E. Sáez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In this work we present an experimental study of non-Newtonian solid-liquid suspension flow in the annular space of a concentric-pipe system that simulates the geometry of wells during drilling for petroleum exploration and production, excluding effects of drill rotation. The liquids used were solutions of biodegradable guar gum at various concentrations and the solid phase was siliceous sand. We studied how the mean annular velocity, polymer concentration and degree of polymer cross-linking affect axial solids distribution. The results show that the solids suspension capacity of the solutions is enhanced by the presence of polymer: the addition of guar gum decreases the minimum annular velocity needed to achieve a homogeneous axial solids distribution in the annular region. However, the amount of solids that is carried by the solutions is not always increased in the presence of polymer. The chemical cross-linking of guar gum with borax promotes a substantial increase of transported solids in the annular space. Overall, the results presented show that relatively high viscosities, high polymer relaxation times under shear flow and non-zero residual shear stresses are desired rheological characteristics for a drilling fluid to obtain a uniform solids distribution in the annulus, as well as high solids carrying capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-331
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Nov 15 2004


  • Annular flow
  • Guar gum
  • Liquid-solid flow
  • Non-Newtonian fluid
  • Solids suspension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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