Drilling Fluid Contamination: Hardness

Drilling Fluid Contamination: Hardness

High levels of hardness will result in flocculation of bentonite with associated severe increases in viscosity. Subsequently, as the cation exchange process continues, the clay particles will aggregate and the result will be a low viscosity fluid.

The main effect of hardness on polymer fluids is precipitation of polymers at high pH (>11) in which viscosity may decrease and fluid loss increase.

Sources of Contamination

Hardness in water is due to dissolved calcium and magnesium ions.


Use the calcium and total hardness tests.


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