Chapter 8

The Surface Chemistry of Drilling Fluids


This chapter is a general discussion of surface chemistry considerations as they affect drilling fluids. A discussion of surfactants, anionic, cationic, and nonionic, and HLB (hydrophylic/lipophylic balance) are described and classified as to drilling fluids used. The water-in-oil and oil-in-water types of emulsions are covered. A discussion of wettability is important so that a mud system, especially the nonaqueous systems, can remain stable while drilling.


Surface tension; interfacial tension; wettability; emulsions; emulsion stability; sufactants; HLB; foams


We have shown how surface forces largely control the behavior of clay suspensions, but surface forces also affect ...

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