Penetrating Neutron Radiation Enhances Physical Properties of Rock
Frikkie De Beer1, Jacob Ledwala2, Valeriya Zadorozhnaya3, and Mike Middleton4
1Applied Radiation and Reactor Science, Necsa, Pretoria, South Africa
2Geosciences, WITS, Johannesburg, South Africa
3Council of GeoSciences, Pretoria, South Africa
4BPC Limited, Perth, WA, Australia
Knowing the physical properties of rock, enhances the knowledge of engineers to predict more accurately e.g. the flow of water / gas or oil, the production rate and/or capacity of reservoirs and the composition of resources beneficial and important to mankind. This paper focuses on radiation based analytical techniques such as neutron and X-ray radiography and tomography to determine and validate existing data about some important physical properties of rock.
Through neutron and X-ray tomography imaging, which have the ability to measure the precise volume of laboratory rock samples, it is now possible to determine or calculate more precisely the density of these samples even when they have odd shapes. Due to the capabilities of the software within tomography imaging, it is possible to predict the percentage tar / oil / water content within sandstone samples. Borehole core samples are normally extensively studied as they contain the information about the minerals within the area of research. In order to release that information from the samples, destructive methods are applied. However, with the utilization of neutron tomography imaging, mineral volume distribution within borehole core samples were predicted without destroying the sample.
Through this study, it is seen that neutrons have the ability to penetrate more easily geological laboratory samples and provide important information to geologist and scientists on a non-destructive basis.
AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa 2008 © AAPG Search and Discovery