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Dynamics of Rock·Chip Removal

by Turbulent Jetting
M.R. Wells, SPE, Amoco Production Co.

Summary. The efficiency of the drilling process is largely governed by the efficiency with which the available hydraulics removes
rock chips created by the mechanical action of the bit. To date, a physical understanding of the process associated with the hydraulic
removal of the chips remains unknown. Rock chips mechanically freed from the parent rock by the drilling action of the bit are generally
held in place by overbearing pressures. These pressures must be overcome either by hydraulic action or by mechanical regrinding before
the chip may be removed. This work presents the experimental results of a study designed to examine the effects of dynamic forces
brought about by jet turbulence on the removal of loose rock chips. Synthetic chips of known shape and size, embedded in a simulated
hole bottom and held in place by hydrostatic pressure, were removed solely by the jetting action of a vertically impinging jet. The synthet-
ic chips were flush-mounted into the plate, rendering the shear forces on the surface of the chips at least two orders of magnitude less
than the hold-down forces. Measurements of the static jet-impingement pressure and the dynamic fluctuating pressure caused by the jet
turbulence were related to turbulent time-scale measurements made using a laser Doppler anemometer, producing an analytical tool to
predict the necessary conditions for chip removal. Tests were conducted in both water and an optically clear synthetic clay mixture having
non-Newtonian viscosity characteristics similar to a bentonitic fluid. The results indicate that chip hold-down forces can be overcome
by the turbulent action of the jet nozzle. Correlations are given indicating the conditions necessary (i.e., jet standoff, radial chip location,
chip size, and viscosity) to permit chip removal. These results can be used to place and size jets optimally to maximize chip remov2.l
and bottomhole cleaning.

A major factor controlling the efficiency of rotary drilling opera- areas as the bottornhole shear forces, 1 scour rates of packed chip
tions is the rate at which loose rock chips are removed from the beds, 2 and visualization of the crossflow beneath bits. 3 The fol-
bottom of the hole. Ideally, rock chips would be hydraulically re- lowing approach concentrates on the random fluctuating lift forces,
moved as rapidly as they were created by the mechanical action generated by the turbulent flow around the bit, that are available
of the bit. Strong evidence suggests, however, that chips mechani- to assist in lifting loose rock chips from the bottom of the borehole.
cally loosened from the parent formation are frequently held to the The basic concepts of the chip hold-down phenomenon are illus-
hole bottom by large differential pressures, a phenomenon histori- trated in Fig. 1. In this ideal case, a rock chip, fractured in the
cally termed the "chip hold-down effect." Chips held to the hole formation by the mechanical bit action, is held in place by a differ-
bottom in this manner are then reground until they are either ential pressure across the chip caused by the hydrostatic pressure
mechanically dislodged or ground small enough to render the hold- of the fluid column in the wellbore. These pressures typically ex-
down forces ineffective against the available hydraulic forces. If ceed the formation pore pressure by as much as 500 psi [34.5 MPa].
the chip hold-down effects are minimized, higher drilling rates may Clay particles in the drilling fluid tend to fIll the small cracks around
be realized by reduction of the amount of energy wasted on regrind- the loose chip, preventing the differential pressure across the chip
ing loose rock chips. from being equalized. The forces acting on the chip may be divid-
Hydraulics at the bit traditionally has been optimized by max- ed into hold-down forces (differential and jet-impingement pres-
imizing either bit hydraulic horsepower or impact force. The total sures and chip weight) and chip-lifting forces (shear-stress-moment
discharge through the bit, however, is restricted to an envelope of forces and positive fluctuating pressure forces resulting from the
velocity (maximum or JIlinimum) in the well annulus to ensure ef- turbulent flow field adjacent to the chip). This last lifting force is
fective cuttings transport. Any further enhancements to the hydraulic the object of the present investigation.
efficiency require alterations to the contours, orientation, or loca- Classic studies of the resuspension of particles into a turbulent
tion of the nozzles. To make adjustments to these parameters ef- fluid stemmed from the force-balance approach just described. 4,5
fectively, a knowledge of the physical phenomenon responsible for This approach, however, implies that particles are suspended in-
hole cleaning is essential. In particular, an understanding of the stantaneously from the surface once the forces holding the particle
hydraulic forces available beneath the bit to lift chips from the bot- to the surface are equalized, neglecting any particle inertia effects.
tom of the wellbore is required. On the other hand, studies of the removal of small particles from
One force available to overcome chip hold-down effects is the flat surfaces exposed to turbulent flow indicate that suspension and
positive fluctuating pressure (dynamic pressure) resulting from the removal of particles from a surface is a function of time. 6 These
turbulent flow conditions adjacent to the bottom of the hole. This observations suggest that suspension of particles from a surface is
study examines the conditions that promote lifting, by turbulent pres- of statistical origin, intimately associated with the random turbu-
sure fluctuations, of particles held to the hole bottom by differen- lent motion of the fluid close to the surface. Particles to be removed
tial pressure. Experiments were conducted with a single jet from a surface must necessarily be subject to a sufficient lift force
impinging on a flat permeable plate. Synthetic rock "chips" of over some period of time. Fluctuating pressure forces resulting from
known size and shape were flush-mounted in the plate. Measure- adjacent turbulent flow contain both positive (lifting) and negative
ments were made of the hold-down forces (chip weight, differen- (hold-down) components. To provide a mechanism of chip removal,
tial pressure, and jet-impingement pressure) and available lifting the positive forces must persist long enough for the particle to be-
forces (shear stress and pressure fluctuations along the hole bot- gin moving from the boundary.
tom) on the individual chips to evaluate quantitatively the condi- To evaluate adequately the effects of the random lift forces on
tions necessary for their removal. Two working fluids, water and the chip-removal rate, it is necessary to obtain a measure of the
an optically clear non-Newtonian solution, were used to evaluate length of time such lifting forces persist. The smaller the duration
the effects of non-Newtonian viscosity on the chip-removal rate. of the lifting force, the less chance the particle has of being lifted
from the surface. The following study investigates the effects of
Background the magnitude and duration of the fluctuating lift forces on the rate
The task of investigating the phenomena associated with bit hydraul- at which rock chips would be removed from the borehole. Although
ics, specifically the chip hold-down problem, historically has taken the fluctuating-lift-force components are generally inadequate to
several diverse approaches. Early investigators focused on such overcome most hold-down forces during drilling, it is evident that
optimization of these forces can make a significant improvement
Copyright 1989 Society of Petroleum Engineers in drilling rate.

144 SPE Drilling Engineering, June 1989




Fig. 1-Rock-chlp force balance.


do i)
Run" (in.) Ud o (psi)
1 0/32 4 to 24 110 to 350
2 0/32 3.56 to 21.3 170 to 300
3 '1j32 2.9 to 17.5 170 to 300
4 10/32 2.67 to 16 250 to 300
5 18/32 2 to 12 250 to 300
• All lests wilh bolh waler and SHe.

Experimental Procedure
The experimental test matrix is given in Table 1. The experiments
were carried out in a cylindrical test cell with a single jet imping-
ing on a flat permeable surface (Fig. 2). Flow proceeded from a
Moyno progressive cavity pump through a standard TriconeTM bit
nozzle onto the porous stainless-steel plate. Return flow could be
directed either through the porous impingement plate or back
through the top of the test section. The measuring apparatus is shown
schematically in Fig. 3. Analog data from the pressure transducers
was digitized by an analog/digital converter and reduced on a lab-
oratory minicomputer.
In the first phase of the experiment, the mean and dynamic (fluc-
tuating turbulent) pressures were measured along the cell bottom. Fig. 2-Test cell.
The mean impingement pressures were measured with Validyne

PDP 11/23

300 Gal. Storage



PCB Transducer PS
Validyne PS

500 psi
"-_ _...< lololo~D
000 0

260 Gal/min

Fig. 3-Experlmental apparatus.

SPE Drilling Engineering. June 1989 145

7/32 "
-.L.- '\}- CHIP
51 I
( ~/16" PLATE

Fig. 4-Chlp geometry.



15~--~----~--~--~----~--~---- __--, STAGNATION iW



Fig. 6-Characterlstlcs of Impinging Jet flows.

location from the jet axis. The chip was then held in place by dif-
ferential pressure, and the desired flow conditions were set. The
pressure on the chip was gradually released until the dynamic pres-
sure forces exceeded the hold-down forces, causing the chip to be
suspended into the adjacent flow. Pressure drops across the jet noz-
zle, tJ.po, and the chip bed, Apb, were continuously monitored by
the Validyne pressure transducers and recorded on the computer.
Pressures were sampled at 400 samples/sec to ensure that the con-
ditions prevalent at the time of chip suspension were instantane-
ously monitored. The differential pressure at the instant the chip
was removed (critical hold-down or critical differential pressure,
200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600
Shear Rate (Vsec)
Ap c) was then compared with the distribution of turbulent fluctu-
ating pressures measured for similar conditions.
The dynamic pressures along the hole bottom are distributed
Fig. 5-SHC rheology. statistically owing to the stochastic nature of the turbulent bounda-
ry layer. The critical hold-down forces, tJ.pc, a function of the in-
cipient dynamic pressures, would also be stochastic. To determine
pressure transducers and were computed from batches of 2,000 in- a mean tJ.pc, several tests were conducted at each flow condition.
dividual samples obtained at 50 samples/sec. The dynamic pres- Assuming the critical differential pressure to be normally distrib-
sure fluctuations were measured with miniature piezoelectric uted, the Ape data were fit to Gaussian curves by nonlinear regres-
pressure transducers having frequency responses of 250,000 cy- sion techniques to find the statistical mean value. These mean values
cles/sec [250 kHz]. The peak pressure fluctuations are of primary for the critical differential pressures were then used in the subse-
interest because these maximum fluctuations are believed to be quent analysis.
responsible for the removal of the loose chips. An average peak A synthetic hectorite clay material (SHC) was selected to ana-
dynamic pressure is defined as a local pressure maximum that per- lyze the influence of non-Newtonian viscosities on the chip-removal
sists over some predetermined, minimum time period. For the pres- process. SHC, which is optically clear, was used rather than a ben-
ent case, this minimum time was set at 0.1 msec, corresponding tonitic drilling mud to allow visual monitoring of chip suspension.
to a typical value of the average time scale of the turbulence in the Preliminary tests comparing the turbulent flow characteristics of
boundary layer. A total of 1,000 peak pressures measured in this SHC with a typical low-solids bentonite drilling mud were per-
manner were numerically averaged to obtain an individual, aver- formed to ensure the compatibility of the two fluids. The results
age peak fluctuating pressure. Twenty of these individually aver- indicated virtually no distinguishable differences in their turbulent
aged pressures finally were assembled, providing an estimate of flow characteristics. The viscosity characteristics ofSHC are shown
the average peak dynamic pressure. in Fig. 5. The plastic viscosity and yield point values were 8 cp
In the second phase, synthetic rock chips, held to the bottom of and 5.3 Ibf/IOO ft2 [8 mPa's and 2.5 Pal, respectively. During the
the impingement plate by differential pressure, were removed by experiments, the viscosity of the SHC was monitored periodically
hydraulic jetting action. The geometry of the chips used and the with a six-speed Fann viscometer to prevent fluid viscosity varia-
machined chip insert in the porous impingement plate are shown tions of more than 5 %.
in Fig. 4. The top surfaces of the chips were flat, allowing them
to be flush-mounted in the impingement plate, thus minimizing the
effects of wall shear. Measurements of the wall shear stress made Results and Discussion
in an earlier investigation 7 indicated that the shear force experi- Phase I-Pressure Measurements. The flow generated by the ver-
enced by a typical chip was some three orders of magnitude less tical impingement of an axisymmetric jet may be characterized by
than the hold-down force. In this manner, it was possible to exam- four distinct regions (Fig. 6). Region I, the flow-establishment zone,
ine the individual effects of pressure lift forces on the chip without contains the jet's potential core, which, in this case, extends ap-
the further complications of shear forces. proximately six nozzle diameters from the nozzle exit. Region 2,
The experiments were performed with a single synthetic rock chip the free-jet region, exhibits a flow nearly identical to that of a free
of chosen size flush-mounted in the porous plate at a known radial jet, following the classic exponential centerline-velocity decay.

146 SPE Drilling Engineering, June 1989

Eq. 5

N 0

.. .

,, I]

o d.

... d.
d. = 8/32 in.
= 9/32 in•
d. = 11/32 in.
= 8/32 in.
Q.. ''$
........... \1 • d. = 9/32 in.
lei • d. = 11/32 in.


o 5 10 15 20 25

Fig. 7-Mean stagnation Impingement pressure distribution.


lJ. L/d. = 32
0.6 o Lid. = 24
o Lid." 20
I] Lid. = 16
v L/d. = 12
... L/d... 32
• L/d. = 24
0.2 • L/d. = 20
• L/d... 16
• Lid." 12

0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
Fig. 8-Radlal Impingement pressure distribution.

Region 3 is the impingement region, characterized by the diver- of the potential core, ultimately altering the characteristics of the
sion of the jet momentum flux to a direction parallel to the wall. wall-region flow regime.
Region 4, the wall-jet region, develops from the edge of the im- The pressure exerted by the impingement of turbulent jets can
pingement zone into a flow field physically similar to that of a wall be functionally described by
jet. The following discussion is concerned primarily with Regions
3 and 4, where the flow interacts with the surface. In some of the
tests, however, the jet standoff distance, L, was less than the length Pw=fl(uo,L,!J.r,do), ................................ (1)

SPE Drilling Engineering, June 1989 147


0.5 b d. = .250
~ d. = .288
v d. = .347

0.4 0 d. = .375
c d. = .496
N 0
~0.3 ·

d. = .250
d. = .288
ro:' ... d. = .347

0.2 • d. = .375

• d. = .496


o 5 10 20 25 30

Fig. 9-Dynamlc stagnation pressure distribution.

0.8 ...---~--_---~---~----, distance was less than the potential core length were best fit by an
exponential function, giving
PA'hpv~)=0.97 exp{[-(Lldo)/9.6]4} , Lldo~6.7 . ..... (5)
0.6 Fig. 7 shows the mean stagnation impingement pressure varia-
tion with standoffdistance for both water and SHe. In both cases,
the dimensionless curves are found to be similar and are well de-
Q. scribed by Eqs. 4 and 5, with no significant effect from the non-
"'~ 0.4 Newtonian fluid viscosity.
The radial variation of the mean impingement pressure, made
1-0:' dimensionless with the mean pressure measured at the stagnation
point, is shown in Fig. 8. The distribution has the usual Gaussian
0.2 shape and is given by
Pwlps =exp[ -50(ArIL) 1.8]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (6)
Again, no distinguishable non-Newtonian fluid-viscosity effects
are apparent. The dimensionless data, however, were found to be
0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.50 similar for every nozzle size and to collapse reasonably well to the
single curve given by Eq. 6.
Fig. 9 shows the variation of the dynamic stagnation pressures
Rg. 10-Dlstributlon of dynamic stagnation pressure maxima. with standoff for various nozzle sizes. The dynamic impingement
pressures were found to increase with nozzle diameter over the en-
tire range of impingement heights tested (2 ~ Lido ~ 24). These
where uo=pv~/2 is the nozzle exit momentum flux. By use of di- values also increased with standoff distance to approximately
mensional analysis, Eq. 1 can be reduced to Lldo =9, where, in every case, the curves passed through a maxi-
mum. As shown in Fig. 10, these maximum values were found to
Pw/('hp~)=fI [Lldo,ArIL] . .......................... (2)
increase linearly with nozzle diameter. Effects from the non-
On the jet axis, or at the stagnation point, this has the form Newtonian fluid viscosity are again not evident.
Fig. 11 shows the radial variation of the dynamic impingement
[P/('hPvb)](Lldo)n=c1 . ........ : .................. (3)
pressures. Following arguments similar to those used in analyzing
Studies 8 •9 of the impingement of circular jets on semi-infinite the mean impingement pressures, an appropriate description of the
flat plates give values for C 1 ranging from 25 to 30, where n=2. dynamic pressures can be given by
In the present experiments, the best fit for the stagnation pressure
data was obtained with C 1 =10.97 and n=1.4, giving P'w=f2(uo,L,Ar,do) . ............................... (7)

Psf('hp~»)(Lldo)1.4= 10.97, LIdo> 6.7 ................ (4) Accounting for the nozzle-diameter effects with the dynamic wall
pressure at the stagnation point, the dimensionless dynamic wall
The marked difference in the value of C 1 and n in the present pressures in the impingement region, (ArIL ~0.9), is described by
case is attributed to wall effects from the closed cavity on the mean
flow. The stagnation pressure data for the cases in which the standoff p'wlps =exp[ -14(ArIL)I.4] .......................... (8)

148 SPE Drilling Engineering. June 1989

1:> Lid. '" 3.48
A Lid. '" 6.97
0.8 --Eq.8 <> Lid. '" 10.45
v Lid. '" 17.42
o Lid. '" 20.91
c Lid. '" 27.87
0.6 Non-Newtonian
1- II
,. Lid ... 3.48
rd it 1:> Eq.9 · Lid. - 6.97
• L/d. - 10.45
0.4 ~,. ... L/d... 17.42
~ • Lid... 20.91
<>~-l ~ • Lid. - 27.87
°1~ •
0.2 ,,~~
"., . ~

0 0.2 0.4
--- ----


Fig. 11-Dynamlc wall-pressure distribution.

0.6,--------------------.., O.15.--___-~--.,.--....,._-.....,.--.,._-....,._-__,

--.' ' • LId = 2.67

0.5 . . . . . /,1',',,\ ... 'H': ~~ :;~ ,

p. 2 0
• U/~\~\ ..........•... Lid = 19.£..
"'/1\/ \''\~ •. ~= 13.33 .


. . ·•


~ ~/>q~~fJ;j: I ' ," . ", " • ~~,
...... :/' . . . . . . . . . .~''-to-=-.:. '" "" ~'
Ii,' ~

o 8

o 2 6 B
Fig. 13-Dynamlc wall-pressure potential.

Fig. 12-Mean and fluctuating wall-pressure components.

To examine further the influence of non-Newtonian fluid viscosity
on the turbulent pressure field, a highly viscous SHC mixture with
a plastic viscosity and yield point more than an order of magnitude
and in the wall jet region (IlrIL>0.9) by higher than the typical values exhibited by the test fluid was run.
In this extreme case, the dynamic pressure distributions still showed
P;.,IPs =exp[ - 3.3(llrIL)o.8]. . ........................ (9) no appreciable difference from those measured with water. In ac-
cordance with classic turbulence theory, this result is expected be-
For Lido> 6, the dimensionless dynamic pressure profiles were cause it is generally thought that the prominent large-scale features
found to collapse to a single curve. For standoff distances less than in typical turbulent flows are inviscid phenomena. Other investi-
the length of the potential core, Lido < 6, the dimensionless fluc- gations,7-10 however, show that the levels of turbulence and aver-
tuating pressure profiles depart from similarity and persist for longer age duration time of typical large eddies (turbulent time scale) in
radial distances. In particular, the dimensionless pressures for similar jet flows are generally less for the non-Newtonian fluid.
Lido =3.48 (Fig. 11) are some 30 times greater than those resulting Although there is no "direct" link between the dynamic pressure
from standoff distances greater than six nozzle diameters. Although distribution and the turbulent velocity distribution, the two are close-
only the data for one nozzle diameter are shown, the results from ly related, It was originally believed that the dynamic wall pres-
all other nozzle sizes tested show similar trends. Consistent with sures of the non-Newtonian fluid would exhibit characteristics
the other pressure data, no distinguishable non-Newtonian similar to those seen in the measured velocity data, where turbu-
fluid-viscosity effects were seen in the dynamic pressure measure- lent velocity levels in the non-Newtonian flow were significantly
ments along the test-cell wall. less.
SPE Drilling Engineering, June 1989 149
• Lid = 16.0
• Lid, = 16.0
a ~=13.~
a ~=13.~ 0.20 • bid..:: 1~6
• bid...= 1QJ o Lid = 8~Q.
o Lid = 8)2_
• ~=-?,~
.~=:.?,~ 0.15 x bi~.::.1:~
0.15 bi~.::.1:z... c::
/~ \
V~\ \
\/" ~-
\ , 0.05
----- -----..
-- ...
"' ... _

0 2 4 6 8
0 2 4 6 8 lIr/d.
Fig. 15-Crltlcal-pressure ratios (non-Newtonian, do ='%2
Fig. 14-Crltlcal-pressure ratios (Newtonian, do ='%2 In,), In.).

Of particular interest is the flow region along the hole bottom, pressure potential, derived from the mean and fluctuating pressure
where the dynamic pressure is greater than the mean impingement distributions, is then a function of nozzle diameter, standoff dis-
pressure. Within this region, an excess lifting force is available to tance, and radial location. A typical example of the distributions
aid in chip removal. The mean and dynamic pressure profIles for of ell for various standoff distances and radial locations is shown
a typical set of conditions are plotted in Fig. 12. The area between in Fig. 13 for the 17S2-in. [1.O-cm] nozzle. These curves show that
the two curves, denoted by crosshatching, illustrates the condition the region of maximum influence, where the potential for chip
in which the dynamic pressures exceed the mean impingement pres- removal is highest, is confined to a small ring surrounding the nozzle
sures, providing a net lifting force to overcome chip hold-down. and extending from 1:J.rldo= 1.75 to 2.5. Rock chips located direct-
For convenience, a "wall-pressure potential," ell, can be defined ly beneath the nozzle exit would never experience a positive lift
as the magnitude of the randomly fluctuating pressure above the force. This behavior is consistent with the experimental results of
local impingement pressure that is potentially available for the Poreh and Hefez, 11 showing that the initial scour beneath imping-
removal of rock chips. Thus, ing jets removes debris only from a small ring area around the jet
axis. For short impingement heights, Lido < 6, the region of in-
eIl=ji'w-jiw' ..................................... (10) fluence and the magnitude of the pressure potential are drastically
This pressure potential affords a convenient measure of the avail- reduced. Conversely, as the standoff distance increases, the range
able lift force caused by the turbulent pressure fluctuations. Keep of potential influence also increases, but with a corresponding
in mind that the fluctuating pressures of interest are both positive decrease in the magnitude of the pressure potential. At the opti-
(lifting) and negative (hold-down) and that it is not sufficient that mum standoff, Lido == 9, the pressure potential is maximum and the
the pressure potential is large enough to overcome the hold-down radial range of influence is also nearly maximum. These observa-
forces. A given pressure fluctuation must persist for a sufficient tions imply that extended nozzle bits, having nozzle standoff dis-
period of time to allow the chip to move out of its bed. The wall- tances typically in the range 2.5 ~ Lido ~ 4.5, would generate a

.. Lid, = 16.00
Q L/d, = 13.33
1.5 ..... . . .... ~ ...... .
o Lid, = 10.67

o Lid, = 8.00
v Lid, = 5.33

" L/d, = 2.66


·········1·· .
• L/d, = 16.00
• L/d, = 13.33

0.5 • Lid, = 10.67

• L/d, = 8.00
• L d, = 5.33
• L/d, = 2.67
o 2 3 4 5 6
Mid o

Fig, 16-Normallzed critical-pressure ratios,

150 SPE Drilling Engineering, June 1989

O.lO.-----~----~--------___, 20,----~---~-------~--__,


0.20 .
~ ~-.~-. ~-~-···-···-t-t
" ••. -1-1

1. 0.15 . ; 10


• d. = 9/32
o Newtonian
• Non-Newtonian
o 4 4 6

Fig. 17-Wall region Integral time scales. Fig. 18-Time-compensated critical-pressure ratios.

very limited range of pressure potential, severely restricting the decrease in the critical-pressure ratios of 10% were r~alized with
range in which the bit may remove chips through the turbulent ac- SHC, compared with similar runs with water, for all three nozzles
tion of the fluid. Typical three-cone bits, on the other hand, gener- tested.
ally range in standoff dislfiIlce from LIdo = 12 to 24, much larger To emphasize the similarity between the critical chip hold-down
than the optimum. Although these larger standoff distances may pressure and the wall-pressure potential, a normalized critical-
increase the area of influence of the potential pressure, the magni- pressure ratio was computed from a ratio of the two (Fig. 16). The
tude of the fluctuating pressures decreases rapidly past Lido == 13. normalization procedure accounts for most of the variability in the
In addition, the nozzles in typical Tricone bits are directed toward data seen in Figs. 14 and 15 (within a realistic range of scatter),
the edge of the hole bottom. When three nozzles are run, the return with the exception of that resulting from non-Newtonian fluid-
flow from beneath the bit tends to cross the jet flow, diverting the viscosity effects. The effects of non-Newtonian fluid viscosity are
jet axis even farther up the side of the borehole. This conceivably more distinct, particularly in the region of highest pressure poten-
could remove the pressure potential range of influence completely tial, 4>, or, correspondingly, in the region of highest critical chip
away from the hole bottom. Therefore, optimally designed bits with hold-down pressure (i.e., 1.5 ~ Ar/do ~ 2.5).
nozzle diameters and standoff distances sized such that Lido == 9 The chip-removal process is governed not only by the balance
and with jets aimed directly at the hole bottom, would produce the of forces across the chip, but also by the duration or persistence
highest levels of pressure fluctuation over the largest percentage of such forces. A measure of the persistence of the fluctuating pres-
of the hole bottom. sure forces is the local turbulence time scale. This "integral" time
scale (the area beneath the autocorrelation function of the fluctuat-
Phase 2-Chip Hold-Down Experiments. The chip hold-down ing turbulent velocity12) is a measure of the length oftime the tur-
tests were conducted by positioning the test chip at various radial bulent fluctuations at any point remain correlated. Larger integral
locations beneath the jet and then measuring the critical hold-down time scales imply larger packets of correlated fluid or larger tur-
pressure the instant the chip was hydraulically removed. The tests bulent eddies in the flow, which, in turn, indicate the production
were designed to determine the extent to which the distribution of of higher fluctuating pressures. In a previous study, 7 measure-
the wall-pressure potential influenced the probability of chip ments were made of the integral scales along the wall jet region
removal. In addition, the tests were to determine the influence of for various standoff distances and nozzle sizes. Fig. 17 shows the
the time scale (duration) of the turbulence adjacent to the wall on results of these measurements. The integral time scale in the wall
the chip-removal phenomenon. region of the flow was found to vary roughly as the square root
Figs. 14 and 15 show examples of the radial distribution of the of the nozzle diameter. To account for the differences in the meas-
critical pressure ratios for the 1%2-in. [1.0-cm] nozzle when New- ured turbulent time scales arising from Newtonian and non-
tonian and non-Newtonian fluids, respectively, were used. The Newtonian fluid viscosities, a dimensionless time scale was defined.
curves have several qualitative similarities with the wall-pressure
potential curves (Fig. 13). First, the highest critical-pressure ra- to = (d/vo)/A, .................................... (11)
tios (i.e., the highest hold-down forces that were overcome by the
where d/vo is a rough measure of the residence time of the fluid
dynamic pressures along the wall) occurred for standoff distances
in the test cell.
near the predicted optimum, Lido =9. Second, the maximum
The rheological effects of the turbulence time scales on the critical-
critical-pressure ratios occurred between Ar/do =2 to 2.75 for
pressure ratios are then compensated for by multiplying the critical-
those cases in which the potential core did not impinge on the plate
pressure ratios in Fig. 16 by to. The results are shown in Fig. 18.
(LIdo> 6). Third, the distribution of the critical hold-down pres-
Most of the variability in the data resulting from non-Newtonian
sures vs. standoff distance closely resembles the distributions given
viscosity effects appear to be accounted for. Longer integral time
by the corresponding pressure potential curves. This close corre-
scales result in the ability of the chips to overcome higher critical
spondence between the predicted pressure potentials and the meas-
hold-down pressures. In particular, under the conditions tested, a
ured critical-pressure ratios lends validity to the notion of using
10% decrease ill the integral time scale caused a corresponding 10%
the potential pressures as a prediction tool to determine chip-removal
decrease in the critical hold-down pressure.
characteristics beneath drill bits.
The influence of the non-Newtonian fluid viscosity can be seen
by comparing Figs. 14 and 15. A general trend toward lower critical- Conclusions
pressure ratios is evident with the non-Newtonian fluid. This im- 1. The mean impingement and dynamic fluctuating pressures have
plies that although the pressure potential distributions for both fluids similar distributions at standoff distances greater than the length
are the same, the chips (subject to a given hold-down force) are of the potential core. For standoff distances less than the potential
less likely to be removed with SHC than with water. An overall core length, the dimensionless dynamic pressures tend to maintain
SPE Drilling Engineering, June 1989 151
high~r magnitudes over longer radialdistances. Note, however, that P; = average peak dynamic pressure at stagnation point, psi
the dimensionless pressures are obtained by determining the ratios [kPa]
of the pressures by their local maximum, the value at the stagna- Pw = mean impingement pressure, psi [kPa]
tion point. The magnitude of the dynamic pressures at the stagna- P;" = average peak dynamic pressure, psi [kPa]
tion point for small standoff distances, Lido < 6, is small. Apb = pressure drop across porous impingement plate, psi [kPa]
Therefore, although the dynamic pressures under these conditions Ape = critical hold-down pressure, psi [kPa]
tend to spread radially, their magnitude is too small to affect chip Apo = pressure drop across nozzle, psi [kPa]
removal significantly. Ar = radial distance from jet axis, in. [cm]
2. The mean and dynamic pressure distributions of the Newtoni- to = test-cell residence time, seconds
an and non-Newtonian fluids are, for all practical purposes, iden-
Uo = nozzle exit momentum flux, psi [kPa]
tical. This remained true even for cases in which extremely viscous
Vo = nozzle exit velocity, ftlsec [mls]
mixtures of SHe were tested. The implication is that the wall-
pressure-potential curves developed with water would be applica-
A = turbulence integral time scale, seconds
ble to drilling fluids with no apparent loss of accuracy. p. = fluid viscosity, lbmlft-sec [kg/m's]
3. With the wall-pressure-potential analysis, an optimum stand- P = fluid density, Ibmlft3 [kg/m3]
off distance for hole cleaning, namely Lido =9, and an optimum Pc = chip density, Ibmlft3 [kg/m3]
radial distance to promote chip removal and hole cleaning, T = shear stress along hole bottom, psi [kPa]
Arldo =2, can be identified. ~ = wall-pressure potential Eii (p;" - Pw)lpo
4. The maximum dimensionless dynamic pressure beneath typi-
cal drill-bit nozzles is a linear function of the nozzle diameter. The Reference.
actual dynamic pressure (the product of Apo and the dimension-
1. Sutko, A.A.: "A Study of the Forces Acting on a Chip Under a Jet
less pressure) can be optimized by considering the interaction be- Bit, " paper SPE 3985 presented at the 1972 SPE Annual Meeting, San
tween Apo and do and by maximizing the bottomhole turbulence. Antonio, Oct. 8-11.
This information will greatly assist in optimizing hydraulics to en- 2. Cheatham, J.B. Jr. and Yarbrough, S.G.: "Chip Removal by a Hydraul-
hance hole cleaning through turbulent pressure fluctuations. Noz- ic Jet," SPEI (March 1964) 21-25; Trans., AIME, 231.
zles may be sized to maximum generation of turbulent energy at 3. Glowka, D.: "Optimization of Bit Hydraulic Configurations," SPEI
the hole bottom while sufficient bit pressure drops and proper an- (Feb. 1983) 21-32.
nular flow rates for hole cleaning are maintained. Nozzle sizing 4. Bagnold, R.A.: The Physics of Wind Blown Sand and Desert Dunes,
can be such that three nozzles, each a different size, would be used Methuen, London (1941).
to maintain adequate flow rates while maximum turbulence at the 5. Cleaver, J.W. and Yates, B.: "A Model for Entrainment of Particles
Into a Turbulent FloW," J. Colloid Interface Sci. (1973) 4, 464-74.
hole bottom is generated.
6. Com, M. and Stein, F.: "Resuspension of Small Particles by a Turbu-
5. The critical-pressure conditions for hydraulically lifting loose lent Flow," Am. Ind. Hygiene Assn. J. (1965) 26, 325-36.
rock chips from the bottom of the borehole are a function of the 7. Wells, M.R.: "Laser Doppler Anemometer Measurements of the Flow
pressure drop across the nozzle, nozzle diameter, jet-standoff dis- Field Beneath Impinging Non-Newtonian Jets," Amoco i'rQduction Co.,
tance, radial distance from the impingement point, and local per- Tulsa (1984).
sistence time of the adjacent turbulence. The wall-pressure potential, 8. Beltaos, S. and Rajaratnam, N.: "Impinging Circular Turbulent Jets,"
in conjunction with the integral time scale of the near-wall turbu- J. Hydraulics Div. ASCE (Oct. 1974) 100, No. HYIO, 1313-28.
lence, is a good predictor of the critical pressures necessary to re- 9. Poreh, M. and Cermak, J.E.: "Flow Characteristics ofa Circular Sub-
move rock chips from the bottom of the borehole. merged Jet Impinging Normally on a Flat Boundary, " Proc., Sixth Mid-
western Conference on Fluid Mechanics, U. of Texas, Austin (1959)
6. The reduction in the critical hold-down pressures measured 198-212.
while non-Newtonian fluids are used is reflected by a correspond- • 10. Berman, N.S. and Hung, T.: "Two-Component Laser Doppler
ing reduction in the integral time scales associated with the non- Velocimeter Studies of Submerged Jets of Dilute Polymer Solutions, "
Newtonian turbulence near the wall. AIChE J. (Feb. 1985) 31, No.2, 208-15.
Note that all the tests were conducted with standard three-cone 11. Poreh, M. and Hefez, E.: "Initial Scour and Sediment Motion Due
bit nozzles. Ongoing studies examining new nozzle designs to to an Impinging Submerged Jet," Proc., Inti. Assn. Hydraulic Res.,
produce higher levels of turbulence or to structure the turbulence Fort Collins, CO (1%7) 3, 8.
emitting from the nozzle to produce higher pressure fluctuations 12. Hinze, J.O.: Turbulence, second edition, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New
are in progress. Investigators have demonstrated the ability to York City (1975) 44-48.
13. Johnson, V.E. et al.: "The Development of Structured Cavitating Jets
produce nozzles having pressure potentials an order of magnitude for Deep-Hole Bits," JPT(Sept. 1986) 995-1006; Trans., AIME, 281.
higher than those produced by standard bit nozzles. 13 Nozzles with
this capacity for producing high wall-pressure potentials could great-
ly increase drilling rates. SI Metric Conver.lon Factor.
gal x 3.785412 E-03
Nomenclature in. x 2.54* E+OO
e1 =
constant psi x 6.894 757 E+OO
d = test-cell diameter, in. [cm]
do = nozzle diameter, in. [cm] • Conversion lactor is exact. SPEDE
L = nozzle standoff distance, in. [cm] Original SPE manuscript received lor review Sept. 22, 1985. Paper accepted lor publica·
N Re = Reynolds number, dimensionless tion Nov. 17, 1987. Revised manuscript received Sept. 30,1988. Paper (SPE 14218)llr81
presented at the 1985 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Las Ve-
Ps = mean pressure at stagnation point, psi [kPa] gas, Sept. 22-25.

152 SPE Drilling Engineering, June 1989