Experimental study on fracture plugging effect of irregular-shaped lost circulation materials
Centre for Sustainable Energy and Resources
Sichuan Province Science and Technology Support Program
Using micro-visualization experimental device for the formation of fracture plugging zone, the plugging behavior of irregular-shaped lost circulation materials (LCMs) with different types and concentrations in fractures was experimentally analyzed. The results show that the sealing time decreases significantly with the increase of material concentration. When the concentration is 20%, the sealing times of materials LCM-1∼LCM-5 are 6s, 7s, 5s, 6s, 4s, respectively. The formation of fracture plugging zone includes two stages, and the main factors affecting the formation of fracture plugging zone are flatness, roundness, convexity and concentrations. Flatness affects the retention stage of LCMs through the matching degree between particle size and fracture width. Convexity and roundness affect the retention stage by increasing the friction coefficient between particles. The high-efficiency retention ability of irregular LCMs is characterized by strong matching to fracture width, and strong friction and sliding resistance between particles. It is recommended that the optimized geometric parameters of high-efficiency retention materials should meet the requirements of “low flatness, low roundness and low convexity” (flatness <0.6, roundness <0.6 and convexity <0.8), which can improve the plugging effect significantly.