Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modeling of Proppant Static Settling Velocity in High Viscosity Friction Reducers


In the current petroleum fracturing industry, it is necessary to understand the down-hole migration and settling velocity of the proppant. If we can master this information well, it will be a great help to obtain effective propped fracture conductivity. In order to study the transport of proppants in the well, we used laboratory experiments and computer numerical simulations to compare the results to get a meaningful conclusion. We spent a lot of time building models on a powerful computer and comparing the experimental conclusions. We finally decided to use CFD as the simulation platform, DPM as the base model, and compare the simulation data with settling velocity experiment data to draw conclusions. Three cases were run and tested including fracture fluid type, proppant size, and fracture orientations. Results show a good integration between experimental results and simulation outputs. This paper will help to provide a full understanding of the distinct changes of the mechanical characterization on the High Viscosity Friction Reducers (HVFRs). The findings provide an in-depth understanding of the behavior of HVFRs under confined effect, which could be used as guidance for fracture engineers to design and select better HVFR design.

Meeting Name

53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium (2019: Jun. 23-26, Brooklyn, NY)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Fracture; Friction; Petroleum industry; Proppants; Rock mechanics; Simulation platform; Viscosity, Computational fluid dynamics modeling; Fracture conductivities; Fracture orientations; In-depth understanding; Laboratory experiments; Mechanical characterizations; Settling velocity; Simulation outputs, Computational fluid dynamics

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2019 American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2019

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