Effects of particle migration on suspension flow in a hydraulic fracture
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An asymptotic model of a hydraulic-fracture flow of a sedimenting concentrated suspension is formulated on the basis of the two-fluid approach with account of transverse particle migration. In the thin-layer approximation, a two-dimensional system of equations averaged across the fracture is constructed with account for a nonuniform distribution of the particle concentration. As compared to the similar model without particle migration, the averaged two-dimensional equations contain modified coefficients which explicitly depend on the width of the flow core occupied by the particles. Using the model constructed, a numerical simulation is performed, which shows that the particle migration towards the fracture center results in the increase in the depth of particle penetration into the fracture and the suppression of gravitational convection in the vicinity of the leading front. The calculations are compared with available experimental data and an analytical formula for the height of the dense packed sediment. A good agreement between the analytical theory, the experiments, and the two-dimensional calculations is attained.
Keywordsviscous fluid hydraulic fracturing two-fluid approach migration sedimentation suspension fracture particle
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