Field device to measure viscosity, density, and other slurry properties in drilled shafts : final report.
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Field device to measure viscosity, density, and other slurry properties in drilled shafts : final report.

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      Final report
    • Abstract:
      Proper performance of mineral slurries used to stabilize drilled shaft excavations is maintained by assuring the

      density, viscosity, pH, and sand content stay within state specified limits. These limits have been set either by

      past experience, research findings and/or by manufacturer recommended values. However, field slurry testing

      is time consuming as all measurements are manually performed. With the overwhelming advances in digital

      down-hole devices, it is not unreasonable to assume that slurry property tests are equally applicable to this


      The most commonly used test to indicate slurry viscosity is the Marsh Funnel Test which is essentially a

      timed flow for a fixed volume of slurry to exit a falling head funnel. Using a library of unique pressure versus

      flow rate responses for a wide range of slurry viscosities, an automated downhole device was designed and

      tested that incorporated these information to estimate viscosity in the excavation without the need to remove

      slurry in order to test. Direct measurement of slurry density was also incorporated into the device and the sand

      content was computed from density and the viscosity where the suspended solids that make up the density

      stems from both the slurry products and the soil cuttings.

      The prototype down-hole slurry testing system was shown to be surprisingly easy and fast to use

      despite the experimental nature of the device. A shaft sampled at 6 different depths was tested in less

      than 10 minutes. In contrast, conventional, manually performed testing were estimated by contractors

      to have taken more than an hour to perform the same number of tests.

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