Discrete element method (DEM) simulations have proved to be valuable for
selecting screens with simple geometries (e.g., wire wrap screens) under
prepack test conditions (Mondal et al., 2011). Metal mesh screens
(MMSs)—commonly referred to as premium screens—can have multiple
(sometimes sintered) layers with different weave patterns. Any model for
estimating sand production in such screens must account for these complexities.
The objective of this paper is to explore different techniques to create
accurate representations of complex filter media and to use them in numerical
simulations and/or analytical models for improved screen selection.
In this paper, we have used computed tomography (CT) images of real
screen coupons to construct 3D replicas of two MMS types: plain square mesh
(PSM) and plain Dutch weave (PDW). An entirely computer-based method of
creating 3D screen assemblies is also presented. The virtual screens have been
compared and validated against the ones generated from the CT images. We have
conducted DEM simulations of prepack tests through these multilayer MMS
assemblies. The retention efficiency of MMSs for different particle sizes has
also been calculated for better slurry test modeling. We have shown that the
effective size of MMS assemblies can be significantly lower than the nominal
rating of the filter layer.
This paper augments the prepack test and slurry test models for
mesh-type screens presented earlier (Mondal et al., 2012; Chanpura et al.,
2013). Determination of the retention efficiency of MMSs, which is currently
characterized by a single filter-cut point, is also a step forward in quality
assurance and quality control of these screens. Finally, we demonstrate that
in-depth screen design and optimization studies can be conducted with virtual
meshes in a consistent way and at a fraction of the cost and time that would be
required otherwise using conventional experimental techniques.
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