Baker Hughes Incorporated : Patent Issued for Shape-Change Particle Plug System (USPTO 9587163)
The patent's assignee for patent number 9587163 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Fluids are pumped and utilized for a variety of tasks in the downhole drilling and completions industry. Valves, seals, packers, and other fluid flow control devices, mechanisms, and tools are utilized to promote the desired control and performance of fluid flows. One problem faced by the industry is when undesirable fluid flow paths or leaks form in various downhole structures, such as borehole walls, tubular strings, packers, joints, etc. For example, additives, e.g., loss circulation materials (LCM), are often added to drilling mud to prevent fluid loss into the surrounding formation during drilling. The industry would well receive advances and alternatives in solutions for sealing or otherwise inhibiting undesirable downhole fluid paths."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "A method of inhibiting an undesirable fluid flow path, including pumping a flow of fluid downhole, the flow of fluid containing a plurality of shape-change particles; depositing the shape-change particles in an undesirable fluid flow path in a downhole structure; transitioning the shape-change particles from a first shape to a second shape; forming a plug with the shape-change particles when in the second shape; and inhibiting the undesirable fluid flow path from fluid flow therethrough with the plug of shape-change particles.
"A system for inhibiting a fluid flow path in a downhole structure, including a plurality of shape-change particles; a fluid containing the plurality of shape-change particles dispersed therein, the fluid configured to convey the shape-change particles to a downhole structure, the shape-change particles operatively arranged to transition between a first shape and a second shape upon exposure to a corresponding transition stimulus, the shape-change particles operatively arranged to flow into a fluid flow path at least partially defined by the downhole structure when in the first shape and to together form a plug to inhibit fluid flow through the fluid flow path when in the second shape."
For additional information on this patent, see: Gaudette, Sean L.; Adam,
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