Sensor development and calibration method 

for inline detection of viscosity and solids content of non-Newtonian liquids

The project

A lot of rigs have very basic instrumentation In the future, a complete enhanced sensor package that you need to drive and steer your drilling process towards maximum operational efficiency should be standard on every rig (Dr.Brakel in the Drilling Contractor, issue July/August 2013).


Various industries, including the oil and gas industry, are in need of sensors and a metrology standard for the measurement of the viscosity of complex, non-Newtonian fluids. Typical non-Newtonian fluids are paint, blood, soup, and drilling fluids and contain a large amount of solids and a viscosity that changes with the velocity gradient or shear rate. As an example, a good fresh paint holds the solids in place and does not flow due to gravity. It should flow to some extent, however, while painting a wall.


It is known that the underlying non-Newtonian physics do influence the measurement of commonly used viscosity meters, but the resulting uncertainty and inaccuracy has never been evaluated systematically. JRP ENG59 NNL will review the physics impacting the viscosity of non-Newtonian liquids, and map out the fundamental measurement uncertainties of existing viscosity measurement tools as well as potential alternative measurement techniques.


In addition, the typical use of upgraded or new viscosity measurement techniques is outside the laboratory in harsh operational conditions. On drilling platforms, for example, the sensors have to function continuously and reliably. This requires on site calibration methods and continuous, in line or ad line solutions. The ultimate objective of the JRP is to evaluate the preferred measurement methods in actual field conditions and at full scale on the drilling rig test facility of the international research institute for oil and gas (IRIS).