Cementing is a crucial and fundamental step in the process of drilling wells to extract oil from its reservoirs. Cementing main functions are to achieve zonal isolation and provide mechanical support to the casing. Impermeable and powerful cement is strongly desired to withstand high pressures and temperatures during the lifetime of the producing wells. Various additives to cement, such as silica flour, fly ash, Nano-additives and other advanced materials have been used and tested to attain improved cement of higher quality and enhanced properties such as permeability, porosity, mechanical and rheological properties. Very few researches have discussed the uses of natural black sand in some industries and fields. Black sand as an additive to cement has valuable compounds in its composition that help in enhancing the cement properties, such as ilmenite, hematite and zircon. It’s naturally-occurring, cheap and abundant in Egypt. Other additives such as white sand and silica flour are also used to enhance the performance of cement.

In the current study, investigation of the effect of natural black sand as an additive to oil-well cementing applications is compared to natural white sand and silica flour under various conditions of pressure and temperature. Three phases of experiments have been executed to comprehend the performance of black sand additive. Phase #1 (Pilot Phase) compared natural black sand and white sand additives to Portland cement without any other additives in ambient conditions and water to cement ratio (W/C) of 0.5. Phase #2 of the experiments studied the impact of natural black sand and white sand on Portland cement, with the addition of anti-foam and dispersant, under a testing temperature of 100 F, a pressure of 4400 psi, and W/C ratio of 0.46. Phase #3 investigated the effect of natural black sand additions to G-class cement, with anti-foam and dispersant, in comparison with silica flour under testing conditions of 145 F temperature, 5500 psi pressure and 0.46 W/C ratio. Phase #1 includes 3 different mixtures: zero % sand cement, 30% white sand cement and 30% black sand cement; phase #2 contains 6 different mixtures: zero % sand cement, 30% white sand cement, 15% white sand and 15% black sand cement, 30% black sand cement, 20% black sand cement and 10% black sand cement. Phase #3 tested 4 different mixtures: zero % sand cement, 30% silica flour cement, 30% black sand cement and 15% silica flour and 15% black sand cement.

Phases #1 and #2 revealed that processed natural black sand is a superior additive to cement than white sand since it decreased porosity, permeability, thickening time and fluid-loss by around 10%, 30%, 40% and 20%, respectively. Additionally, black sand increased the cement compressive strength by about 10% in phase #1 compared to the zero% sand cement. The 30% black sand condition decreased porosity and fluid-loss by approximately 26% and 6%, respectively compared to the zero% sand cement in phase #2. In phase #3, while silica flour yielded the highest improvement in cement properties, 30% black sand condition decreased the cement porosity and fluid-loss by nearly 12% and 20% respectively and increased the compressive strength by 8% compared to the zero% sand cement.


School of Sciences and Engineering


Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering

Graduation Date

Fall 2-15-2023

Submission Date


First Advisor

Dr. Hanadi Salem

Second Advisor

Dr. Ahmed El-Banbi

Committee Member 1

Sherif AbdelMohsen

Committee Member 2

Mostafa Shazly


131 p

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item

Available for download on Wednesday, July 26, 2023