Flocs can be defined as a cluster of suspended particles in a drilling fluid that are mutually attracted when agitation is stopped.
Flocculation can occur naturally but is also formed from a dispersed colloidal system in which a flocculant chemical has been incorporated.
Flocculants help form flocs by promoting the aggregation of fine solids to assist in the settling and removal from the used drilling fluid. This allows the recycling and reuse of the drilling fluid.
Trenchlesspedia Explains Flocs
Flocculation of drilling fluids occurs when clay, polymer additives, and charged particles attach together to form a visible clump. When mechanical agitation is stopped, the dispersed clay particles form flocs because of the forces of attraction between negative and positive particle edges.
In the dry state, the plates are arranged face to face. When this clay is inserted in water, adsorption, hydration, and swelling of the packets occur. When the water is agitated, these packets disperse into smaller packets of plates and remain in a state of dispersion till agitation is continued.
When agitation is stopped, the plates and other suspended particles are mutually attracted and form the clusters known as flocs.