Rheological measurements provide important information about the efficiency of the processes described above, which largely revolve around the flow of slurries and liquids:
Drilling fluids play a number of important roles in the drilling process, such as lubricating the bit and drill string, clearing cuttings from the bit face, and keeping formation fluids at bay. Rheological measurements are needed to monitor and predict the performance of drilling fluids in diverse environments, from deep-sea mines as cold as 5 ˚C, to geothermal wells up to 180 ˚C.
Processing and transport
In some cases, excavated materials need to be transported over long distances before they can be processed and refined. Rheological data is needed to define the optimum pumping conditions, including pipe size, fluid composition, and pump pressure.
The mining industry is the world’s largest producer of waste. Removing much of the water before the waste is transported can result in savings of water, transport energy, and storage costs; however, concentrating the waste can also dramatically change its flow behavior, so rheological measurements are needed to design the best waste-disposal strategy.
Typically measured materials from the mining industry