Malvern Mastersizer 2000 Aids Development High-Performance Drilling Muds

The Mastersizer 2000 particle size analyzer from Malvern Instruments is proving to be a valuable aid in formulating drilling muds that couple high performance with minimal environmental impact. This fully automated system measures particles in the range from 0.02 to 2000 microns. Suitable for a wide range of sample types, it allows the straightforward measurement of both aqueous and non-aqueous drilling muds.

The particle size of the solid components used in drilling muds is directly linked with the product functionality. Initially, muds were used to cool and lubricate the drill bit and remove debris from the drill hole, while also controlling the hydrostatic pressure in the well. However, by controlling the particle size, muds can also help maintain hole stability and prevent fluid invasion into permeable rocks. This is particularly true when drilling shales, where fluid invasion not only threatens hole stability, but also causes significant pressure loss during well operation. Here, selection of the correct mud system can lead to the formation of a mud cake across the surface of the bore hole, bridging any pore structures and improving shale inhibition.

Using the Mastersizer 2000, researchers are able to optimize the mud properties relative to the nature of the geological formulation being drilled. Size analysis can be carried out for each of the mud components, including weighing, bridging and rheological control agents. Optimizing the particle size reduces the solids loadings required to achieve specific performance targets.

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About Malvern Instruments

Malvern Instruments is a global company that develops, manufactures and markets advanced analytical systems used in characterizing a wide variety of materials, from bulk powders to the latest nanomaterials and delicate macromolecules. Innovative technologies and powerful software produce systems that deliver industrially relevant data enabling customers to make the connection between micro (eg particle size) and macro (bulk) material properties (rheology) and chemical composition (chemical imaging). Malvern laboratory, on-line and in-line solutions are proven in sectors from cement to pharmaceuticals and support the understanding, improvement and optimization of many industrial processes.

Headquartered in Malvern, UK, the company has subsidiary organizations in all major European markets, North America, China, Korea and Japan, key partnerships in India, a global distributor network and a number of applications laboratories around the world.

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