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Sourav Padhy

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
B.Tech. Mechanical Engineering, 2008

Suspensions of solids in polymeric solutions are pumped to help prop open the fracture during the drilling of oil and gas wells. These high-density solids in suspension sediment in the presence of shear flow in the orthogonal direction as they are pumped. Experimental data have shown that both the shear thinning and the elasticity of the suspending polymeric solutions significantly affect the settling rate of the solids. We use simulations of viscoelastic flow past a sphere with cross shear flow to study the effect of carrier fluid elasticity on the drag experienced by the sphere and thus on its settling rate. We use different constitutive equation models to represent the viscoelastic fluid and perform large scale computations to investigate the mechanisms involved. We have also setup experiments for measuring the sedimentation rates of the solids in different viscoelastic fluids. We compare our computational results with the experimental results to validate our results.

Fig: The polymers are stretched to large distances in the direction of the shear flow

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