Nonlinear viscoelastic rheological behavior of bentonite and sepiolite drilling fluids under large amplitude oscillatory shear

ETTEHADİ A., Ulker C., Altun G.

JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, vol.208, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 208
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.petrol.2021.109210
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Chemical Abstracts Core, Compendex, Geobase, INSPEC, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Rheology, Nonlinear viscoelasticity, Large amplitude oscillatory shear (LAOS), Drilling fluid, Sepiolite, LAOS BEHAVIOR, NANOPARTICLES, PERFORMANCE, VISCOSITY, STRESS
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Common models used to describe rheological behavior of drilling fluids are built on pure viscous flow assumption. Full rheological characterization of drilling fluid under this assumption is not feasible since drilling fluids are viscoelastic materials and exhibit both elastic and viscous features. Gel strength development, yield stress value at near zero shear rates, and sag tendency in drilling fluids are the strong function of viscoelastic responses. Linear and nonlinear viscoelastic responses should be measured to provide complete viscoelastic analysis. Two water-based drilling fluids, sepiolite and bentonite drilling muds, each in four states, were subjected to testing using rheometer. Nonlinear viscoelastic parameters and their indications for both fluid systems were characterized for the first time. Large amplitude oscillation sweep tests were conducted as a function of strain and strain rate at four temperatures and frequencies. Stress response was decomposed through Fourier transform into elastic and viscous stress components. Lissajous-Bowditch loops were assessed as rheological fingerprints to detect the initiation of nonlinear region and the nature of nonlinearity. Results revealed that bentonite fluid systems provided stronger gel strength, a more stable network, and high mechanical stability compared to sepiolite fluid samples up to 50 degrees C. However, the sepiolite fluid systems outperformed at high temperatures (100 and 150 degrees C). The elastic nonlinear response was determined to be strain/ strain rate softening, and the nonlinear viscous response was shear rate thinning at large strain rates for both fluid systems. Contrary to common knowledge found in literature (shear rate thinning), it was revealed that both fluid systems demonstrated shear rate thickening behavior at low to moderate strain rates. This finding is of importance in understanding gel strength development and evaluating sag tendency in drilling operations.