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Manipulating cement-steel interface by means of electric field: Experiment and potential applications

1 Formation Physics Department, SINTEF Petroleum Research, 7465 Trondheim, Norway
2 Drilling and Well Department, SINTEF Petroleum Research, 7465 Trondheim, Norway

Topical Section: Thin films, surfaces and interfaces

Good shear bonding and hydraulic bonding between cement and steel play a crucial role in well integrity of oil and gas wells. In this experimental study, we investigate the effect that constant electric field may have on the bonding at cement-steel interfaces. Constant voltage (18 V) was applied between two stainless-steel electrodes immersed into a cement slurry. It was found that bonding was significantly improved at the positive electrode, while it was significantly worse at the negative electrode. The effect was due to the negatively-charged cement particles being attracted to the positive electrode. The effect may potentially be used for manipulation and control of casing-cement and reinforcement-concrete bonding strengths in oil & gas and construction industries, respectively. Side-effects that might reduce the applicability of this technology, are gas production at both electrodes (and especially at the negative one) and significant corrosion at the positive electrode due to electrochemical reactions at metal surfaces. Poor bonding at the negative electrode may potentially be used for cleaning of cement equipment, such as cement pumps, pipes, tanks, and mixers used on the rigs to perform well cementing jobs in oil & gas industry.
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