V22 - GEO - Lead Story 1

New Ultrasonic Velocity Platen Enables Precise Studies of 1-inch Core Samples

In oil and gas exploration, obtaining intact core samples of geomaterials is expensive and time-consuming. This is especially true for shale, which is very fragile due to its natural faults and fractures. Researchers need to glean as much data as possible from each sample, which is why they prefer to use numerous 1-inch plugs taken from a single large specimen. Drilling the plugs from various angles also enables researchers to study the properties of shale in multiple axes, which is important because shale wells are often drilled horizontally for hydraulic fracturing.

To address these challenging requirements, MTS developed 1-inch platen hardware for the MTS Ultrasonic Velocity Test Solution. Similar to our larger UV designs, the 1-inch platen propagates one compression sound wave and two orthogonal shear waves along the longitudinal axis of a smaller core sample. The MTS solution accurately measures time of flight of these waves through the specimen yielding highly detailed characterizations of geomaterials, providing insight into the specimen’s porosity, permeability, grain structure, deformational stress and other attributes.

Other 1-inch platens for ultrasonic velocity testing typically sacrifice one of the orthogonal shear waves due to the smaller surface area. The proprietary design of the 1-inch platen from MTS captures all three waves, enabling researchers to develop more precise characterizations of reservoir geomaterials with smaller plugs.

Often to accommodate the lack of data from the second shear wave, researchers are required to run a second set of tests to complete the core sample data necessary to make critical decisions about how best to extract resources and which production techniques will be most effective. Repeating the extensive test set up and testing time significantly increases cost and risk of specimen damage.

The new 1-inch platen is just one part of a complete MTS Ultrasonic Velocity Test Solution, which also includes application software and electronics for control and data acquisition. Integrated data acquisition is particularly important because it eliminates the need for researchers to merge ultrasonic and mechanical testing data during post-processing, which can complicate data synchronization introducing additional risk of error and increasing analysis time.

All of the solution components are precision engineered and tightly integrated to deliver accurate, dependable performance in demanding triaxial test applications at temperatures up to 120°C (250°F) and pressures up to 140 MPa (20,000 psi). The solution is specifically designed for use with the MTS Model 656 Triaxial Cell, an industry-leading accessory that can be seamlessly integrated into robust MTS Model 815 or Model 816 Rock Mechanics Test Systems.

Contact MTS today to learn more about how the new 1-inch ultrasonic velocity platen can improve test productivity and help generate maximum data from a single core sample.

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Tel: 952.937.4000
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Email: info@mts.com