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Research Papers

Finite Element Simulation of Compression of Elastomeric Seals in Open Hole Liners

[+] Author and Article Information
Khalid Alzebdeh1

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 33, Al-Khod 123, Sultanate of Omanalzebdeh@squ.edu.om

Tasneem Pervez, Sayyad Z. Qamar

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 33, Al-Khod 123, Sultanate of Oman

1

Corresponding author.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 132(3), 031002 (Sep 14, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002244 History: Received July 04, 2009; Revised June 27, 2010; Published September 14, 2010; Online September 14, 2010

Control of water flow in open hole wells is an urgent necessity to minimize water production and maximize oil output. Elastomers provide tight seals as they deform against formation during the expansion process of a solid expandable tubular. A better prediction of behavior of elastomers in compression will achieve an effective sealing mechanism. Due to the inherent nonlinearity of tubular expansion and elastomer compression against open hole formation, a closed form solution is extremely difficult to obtain. Finite element modeling provides a viable alternative, as an approximate simulation tool, to determine the seal pressure without significant compromise on the complexity of the problem. The finite element analysis software is employed to model the tubular expansion resulting in compression of elastomer seal to effectively isolate unwanted water producing zones. The formation is modeled as a rigid body or an elastic or elastic-plastic material. Two different boundary conditions, fixed-free and fixed-fixed, are employed depending on prevailing practices of oil operators in such applications. The effect of seal length and thickness, compression ratio and shear resistance at seal-formation interface are determined on the contact pressure between seal and formation.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Geometry of solid expandable tubular with seals

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Figure 2

Two dimensional axisymmetric model of mandrel, tubular, seal, and formation

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Figure 3

Finite element model of tubular, seal, and formation

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Figure 4

Error in effective stress with respect to mesh density

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Figure 5

Variation in seal contact pressure along seal length for different formations: (a) 5 mm thick seal, μ=0.1, 5% tubular expansion ratio; (b) 7 mm thick seal, μ=0.1, 5% tubular expansion ratio; (c) 5 mm thick seal, μ=0.1, 10% tubular expansion ratio; and (d) 7 mm thick seal, μ=0.1, 10% tubular expansion ratio

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Figure 6

Variation in seal contact pressure versus seal length (5 mm and 7 mm thick seal μ=0.1, elastic-plastic formation)

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Figure 7

Variation in seal contact pressure along seal length for varying compression ratios (5 mm thick seal, μ=0.1, elastic-plastic formation)

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Figure 8

Variation in seal contact pressure versus seal compression ratios for varying tubular end conditions and coefficient of friction: (a) 5 mm thick seal, μ=0.1; (b) 5 mm thick seal, μ=0.4; (c) 7 mm thick seal, μ=0.1; and (d) 7 mm thick seal, μ=0.4.

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Figure 9

Variation in seal shear stress versus tubular expansion ratio for varying seal thickness and coefficient of friction: (a) 5 mm thick seal, fixed-fixed end condition, μ=0.1; (b) 7 mm thick seal, fixed-fixed end condition, μ=0.1; (c) 5 mm thick seal, fixed-fixed end condition, μ=0.4

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