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Automated Particle Plugging Apparatus

Automated Particle Plugging Apparatus


The Automated Particle Plugging apparatus to evaluate Lost Circulation Material (LCM) performance. It is a powerful new tool to help mitigate lost circulation events during oil, gas and geothermal well construction, and presents a new milestone in our ability to reduce mud loss-associated non-productive time (NPT) and trouble cost in field operations.


In a continuous effort to automate and digitize O&G lab and field equipment, Metarock Laboratories developed this apparatus to be fully automated and remotely accessible. It uses slotted discs of varying slot widths, lengths, and shapes, representing different lost circulation environments, to test LCM plugging (or non-plugging) ability under realistic downhole conditions. The system automates pressure stepping at any pressure up to 10,000 psi, hold periods, total fluid loss amounts, flow rates, or a combination of these as desired by the user. Acceptance criteria can be set by the user restricting the system from moving to the next pressure step until the set criteria have been met. The system can automatically de-energize itself, reducing pressure and temperature to ambient at the end of testing or when set limits are exceeded, making operation safe and reliable.


The proprietary and unique Metarock data-acquisition system and graphical interface allows for real time plotting of any output variable. This allows the user to monitor and visualize in real time important parameters, such as the volume of mud displaced while plugging the slotted disc and the system performance during hold periods. The system is built with remote access capability, allowing remote trouble-shooting and technical support if so desired.


Technical specifications:

  • Pressure: 10,000 PSI
  • Temperature: 400°F
  • Volume: 350 ml
  • User defined automated pressure stepping, hold periods, displaced volume, flow rates.
  • User defined acceptance criteria
  • Automated safety limits on pressure, temperature, and displaced volumes.
  • Automated de-energization
  • Metarock real-time GUI-based data acquisition software – allows an operator to view, control, and record all variables
  • HC-276 wetted parts
  • HC-276 back pressure receiver
  • High-resolution digital pressure transducers
  • Remote access & remote technical support
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