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The scope of this research project had two parts, with separate objectives. Both parts of the project used a machine that applied ultrasonic waves to our samples. The purpose of Part A was to determine if ultrasonic waves applied to a loaded crush cell has an effect on pack porosity. Previous work by C.R. Bulau (URP) and C. Ireland (SURF) demonstrated that the crush testing results were a strong function of the proppant pack’s porosity. Variable porosity leads to poor repeatability of crush resistance measurements. Three variables were evaluated while measuring porosity: amplitude of the ultrasonic waves, time of exposure, and the effect of closure stress applied to a crush cell during the proppant’s settling process. Our data shows that pack porosity can be stabilized ultrasonically. Part B’s goal was to quantitatively determine the effectiveness of ultrasonically removing fines from proppant by measuring the mass reduction of a sample treated with ultrasonic cleaning. This result was compared to measurements obtained using the API RP19C standard method of testing turbidity. It was hypothesized that proppant that measures a low turbidity will still have a mass percent of fines that are released during ultrasonic cleaning. Our data confirmed Part B’s hypothesis. This project may lead to future studies relating the measured conductivity of the sample after ultrasonic cleansing to the conductivity of the original.

Publication Date

Summer 2016


Advisor: John Getty, Geophysical Engineering

Applications of Ultrasonics for Processing and Testing of Proppants