Excessive Gel Strength

Published: April 17, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Excessive Gel Strength Mean?

Excessive gel strength implies a highly viscous drilling mud with a high yield point. Gel strength is an important rheological property of drilling mud and is measured using a viscometer. It is measured in periods of 10 seconds, 10 minutes and 30 minutes using 3 rounds per minute (rpm) speed after to understand the gelling properties of the mud mixture.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Excessive Gel Strength

Excessive gel strength becomes difficult to pump without exceeding pumping pressure limits to break the circulation, especially after the mud has been static for a long period of time. Excessive gel strength can be caused by bacteria, solid content, salt, presence of chemical contaminants such as lime, gypsum and cement, and acidic gasses such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.

Gel strength is very important in trenchless construction methods such as horizontal directional drilling (HDD) because the cuttings are conveyed in the mud during the drilling operation.


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