• A Computational Model to Simulate Proppant Transport and Placement in Rough Fractures 

    This study establishes realistic rough fracture models using digital scanning images of real fracture surfaces, and then conducts numerical simulations on the proppant transport and placement dynamics occurring on those rough surfaces. The Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) method is adopted to describe the fluid flow, while the Discrete Element Method (DEM) is adopted to describe the particle motion. A resolved CFD-DEM coupling approach is established to simulate the fluid-granular interactions by properly modeling the momentum exchange between fluid flow and particle motion. Through comparison of the proppant transport phenomena in flat and rough fractures, observations indicate the likelihood for the rough fractures to create tree-like proppant dunes, which would be beneficial for forming a proppant-filled flow channel with a higher and more sustainable conductivity. 

    This presentation is from the 2022 SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition. 

    • Paper Number: SPE- 209150-MS 
    • Published: 25 January 2022 
    • Authors: Facheng Gong; Hai Huang; Tayfun Babadagli; Huazhou Li 

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  • A Computational Model to Simulate Proppant Transport and Placement in Rough Fractures 

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