Characterization Techniques for the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry is heavily reliant on materials that have exceptional performance even under the most aggressive and demanding conditions. The challenges are observed at all three tiers of the industry. The upstream sector requires robust materials that can be used in heavy-duty equipment in order to extract crude oil and natural gas from its natural resources. The midstream sector not only requires materials to construct pipelines that can be used to transport the oil and gas, but also needs to ensure that transportation is efficient and unhindered. This requires an intimate understanding of the thermo-mechanical properties of both the material of construction as well as the fluids being transported. Finally, as more and more companies are investing in crude oil-to-chemicals technologies, polymers, especially functional polyolefins, serve to add tremendous value to the downstream product pipeline. This requires a thorough understanding of the final product.

In all situations, raw materials and final products must meet thermal and mechanical property requirements; such as, adequate stiffness or flexibility, strength, toughness, impact resistance, etc. It is equally important that the mechanical properties of the materials are not compromised over the application temperature range or environmental conditions.

Thermal Analysis, Rheology, and Mechanical Testing techniques represent a powerful range of analytical tools that can help understand the behavior of a material under these different conditions. These techniques are also extremely powerful in the flow assurance sector as the thermal and flow properties of different crude oils will vary depending on its composition. This seminar is designed to provide a more in-depth understanding of these testing techniques within the context of specific challenges faced by scientists and engineers in all sectors of the oil and gas industry.

The presented content will cover a wide variety of measurement techniques and material types.

  • Thermogravimetric Analysis
  • High Pressure TGA
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  • Rheology
  • Dynamic Mechanical Analysis
  • Fatigue Testing
  • Wax appearance temperature (WAT) for crude oil
  • Thermoplastics
  • Polymer blends
  • Thermosetting polymers
  • Elastomers and rubbers
  • and more!

Who Should Attend

These educational seminars are designed for scientists, engineers, technicians and managers with any level of familiarity with thermal analysis and/or rheology and mechanical testing who would like to gain a broader understanding of these techniques and capabilities. The seminar is designed to start from basic concepts and build up to more advanced applications.

Participants will walk away with the ability to make better-informed decisions and will be able to choose the right analytical tools to acquire the most meaningful information. Users of all makes and models of instruments will benefit from the seminar and are welcome to attend.

The seminar will cover Thermal Analysis, Mechanical Testing and Rheology. Participants will receive course notes in electronic form (flash drive) upon registration check-in.

Session 1: Thermal Analysis

This session will start with a general overview of the techniques of thermogravimetry (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Specific examples of materials typically encountered in the oil and gas industries (crude oil, thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers, etc.) will be used to discuss experimental tips and approaches in analyzing these materials. Applications of DSC in determining the wax appearance temperature (WAT) will be specifically discussed. Examples of testing materials under aggressive conditions will also be covered. The session will end with an insight into Modulated DSC (MDSC)®; an advanced and extremely powerful thermal analysis technique. The MDSC section will place emphasis on method development and troubleshooting along with examples of its application in understanding material behavior.

Session 2: Rheology and Mechanical Testing

The session will start with a general discussion of viscoelasticity. We will then focus on mechanical testing of solids using dynamic mechanical analyzers (DMA). We will share tips and tricks on sample preparation as well as choosing the appropriate fixture for testing using examples of different polymers, such as polymer blends and thermosets.

Next, we segue into the use of rotational shear rheometers. This section will focus on choosing the appropriate instrument and tools for performing flow and viscoelastic measurements on a range of materials – ranging from simple Newtonian fluids to complex non-Newtonian fluids to solids! Flow measurements will be discussed in detail using data from different types of crude oils. Viscoelastic measurements will be discussed using data from crude oils, polyolefin melts, and thermosetting materials.

In addition to the insights derived from these core measurements, we will present capabilities for additional property measurements that are possible with this common set of analytical equipment, such as pressure rheology, orthogonal superposition, tribology, and fatigue testing.

Session 3: Rubbers and Elastomers

Elastomers and rubbers are widely used for a range of different applications in the oil and gas industry; from equipment used in upstream process to final products in the downstream process. A thorough characterization of rubbers is thus required to ensure that rubber products are processed in the most cost-efficient manner to obtain functional products that can perform optimally and consistently. This session will start with a brief overview of the different analytical tests available on a curemeter (MDR) or a rubber rheometer (RPA). These tests range from routine cure testing to understand critical parameters such as TC10, TC50, TC90, TS1, TS2, etc. to advanced techniques such as Payne effect for studying filler dispersion and large amplitude oscillatory shear (LAOS) to quantify long-chain branching. The session will conclude with a detailed discussion on the interpretation of data from these tests. Multiple case studies will be presented to show examples of how these tests are being successfully used to troubleshoot real processing issues as well as ensuring product consistency.

Session 4: Open Discussion

This will be an open discussion section for any additional questions and discussions. Attendees are welcome to bring their raw data on their laptops so that the applications scientists from TA Instruments can provide specific inputs on their queries.

The seminar will run from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

8:00 AM Registration
8:30 AM Session 1: Thermal Analysis
10:00 AM Break
10:20 AM Session 2: Rheology and Mechanical Testing
12:00 PM  Lunch
 1:00 PM  Session 3: Rubber Testing
2:15 PM Break
2:30 PM Session 4: Open Discussion
3:30 PM Adjourn

October 29th 
Oklahoma City, OK

Holiday Inn Oklahoma City North
6200 N Robinson Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

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October 31st 
Houston, TX

Waters Corporation
5909 West Loop S, Ste. 330
Bellaire, TX 77401

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*The Houston seminar is currently full. If you select that seminar option, you will be added to a waiting list.


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October 29 - Oklahoma CityOctober 31 - Houston - Waiting List

Contact Us

For more information on this course, please contact:

Barbara Semar

Mack Geiger