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High Pressure Rheometer with Internal Foam Blender

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244642D
Publication Date: 2016-Jan-04
Document File: 3 page(s) / 200K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

An apparatus is constructed to allow a gas and a liquid to be rapidly alternatively mixed into homogenous liquid, an emulsion or foam at pressure exceeding 1000 psi and then measure the rheology of the resultant fluid. A rotating paddle cement consistometer is used to provide the basic pressure cell, temperature control and torque signal and speed control for the rheometer. The pressure is supplied by a gas cylinder which can be reduced with a regulator or increased by pumping water or oil into an intermediate gas fill pressure cell pressuring the gas further. The unique features of the bob mechanism are the triple annuli construction, an internal spiral paddle mixer, a circular ramp on the paddle shaft which, when rotation direction is reversed, causes the inner and outer sleeves to lift and allow the paddle to spin at high speeds. During the high speed reverse mix, liquids can be drained from the cell and replaced by high pressure gas thereby creating foam and increasing its volume % quality. Once the foam is created and homogenized within the rotational sleeves of the rheometer, the speed direction is changed to the normal direction and the speed controlled to provide a desired shear rate. The novel arrangement has no dynamic pressure seals. There is a need for such a foam rheometer arrangement to test high pressure methane gas foams as the push to prevent post fracturing flaring of nitrogen or natural gas mixture becomes regulated. There are also interesting miscible hydrocarbon systems which might include propane along with natural gas. The initial aim of the apparatus was to improve the quality of the rheologal measurements on high pressure liquid carbon dioxide gelled hydrocarbon solutions, but the reverse mixing is so intense and has a pulsating action that it appears to create fairly fine textured foam.   The basic design is captured in the following figure: The design is housed in a rotating paddle of a cement consistometer. The blue area represents the volume that would normally contain the cement slurry. There are inner and an outer sleeves / inverted cups that normally rotate in a clockwise direction (looking from the top) and are attached to a top plate. There is also an upward opening cup that is stationary. An internal paddle is incorporated that also rotates clockwise so that there is normally no shear on the paddle relative to the inner cup/sleeve surface so the arrangement functions as a triple annulus, rotational rheometery. Small holes are present in the top plate to allow air to escape as the liquid would fill the annuli. The unique feature of the apparatus is the clutch-like, circular ramp (shown on pages 6 and 7) attached to the upper plate. When the motor direction is rapidly reversed, the ramp causes the two upper attached sleeves to lift slightly allowing the spiral paddle to rapidly rotate relative to the sleeves. This causes the fluid moved by the spiral to flow upwards through holes in the top plate, around to the outer annulus and flushing out the fluid in each of the annuli back to the suction area of the paddle. If a mixture of gas and liquid are in the cell, it will quickly become homogenized into foam. When the direction of the motor is reversed back to the normal direction, the foam in the annuli is sheared to a predictable rate and the torque measured can be used to calculate the effective or apparent viscosity at that shear rate. To improve upon the texture of the foam more turbulence can be induce by making vertical saw cuts across the ribs of the spiral mix paddle as shown on page (9) or by incorporating vertical bar/bolts through the spiral.

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High Pressure Rheometer with Internal Foam Blender

An apparatus is constructed to allow a gas and a liquid to be rapidly alternatively mixed into homogenous liquid, an emulsion or foam at pressure exceeding 1000 psi and then measure the rheology of the resultant fluid.

A rotating paddle cement consistometer is used to provide the basic pressure cell, temperature control and torque signal and speed control for the rheometer. The pressure is supplied by a gas cylinder which can be reduced with a regulator or increased by pumping water or oil into an intermediate gas fill pressure cell pressuring the gas further.

The unique features of the bob mechanism are the triple annuli construction, an internal spiral paddle mixer, a circular ramp on the paddle shaft which, when rotation direction is reversed, causes the inner and outer sleeves to lift and allow the paddle to spin at high speeds.  During the high speed reverse mix, liquids can be drained from the cell and replaced by high pressure gas thereby creating foam and increasing its volume % quality. Once the foam is created and homogenized within the rotational sleeves of the rheometer, the speed direction is changed to the normal direction and the speed controlled to provide a desired shear rate.

The novel arrangement has no dynamic pressure seals. There is a need for such a foam rheometer arrangement to test high pressure methane gas foams as the push to prevent post fracturing flaring of nitrogen or natural gas mixture becomes regulated. There are also interesting miscible hydrocarbon systems which might include propane along with natural gas.

The initial aim of the apparatus was to improve the quality of the rheologal measurements on high pressure liquid carbon dioxide gelled hydrocarbon solutions, but the reverse mixing is so intense and has a pulsating action that it appears to create fairly fine textured foam.

The basic design is captured in the foll...