, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 491-498
Date: 09 Dec 2008

Solutions of xanthan gum/guar gum mixtures: shear rheology, porous media flow, and solids transport in annular flow

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Mixtures of xanthan and guar gum in aqueous solution were studied in two flow situations: simple shear and porous media. In addition, solids transport in vertical annular flow of sand suspensions was explored. The zero shear rate viscosity of the solutions displayed a pronounced synergy: the viscosity of the mixture is higher than that of the polymer solutions in a wide range of relative concentrations of the two polymers, in agreement with previous literature. However, at relatively high shear rates, the viscosity approaches the value of the more viscous xanthan gum solutions at mass fractions of xanthan gum between 0.1 and 0.15, and the degree of synergy substantially decreases. Stress relaxation experiments in simple shear indicate that the polymer mixtures exhibit a well-defined yield stress after relaxation that is absent in solutions of pure polymers. In porous media flow experiments, a synergistic behavior mimicking the shear flow results was obtained for the polymer mixtures at low shear rates. However, at a critical shear rate, the apparent viscosity in porous media flows exceeds the shear viscosity due to the elongational nature of flow in the pores. The solids transport capacity in annular flows is well-represented by trends in shear viscosity and stress relaxation behavior. However, the lack of viscosity synergy at high shear rates limits the applicability of the mixtures as a way to improve solids suspension capacity in annular flows.