A drag force measurement method is presented which makes it possible to study the settling of particles in transparent and opaque fluids. A dimensionless treatment that takes into account the shear thinning effects of fluids was applied to normalize the measured drag force data. A wide range of particle Reynolds numbers can be covered by this method and a profile of friction factor versus Reynolds number can be established by the proposed dimensionless treatment. An algorithm for the prediction of settling of particles in non-Newtonian fluids was introduced. It can be executed by a computer program. With a good set of experimental data, the settling velocities predicted by the computer model are very close to the measured ones in the fluids tested. This method can be used to study the suspension properties of drilling and fracturing fluids, transparent or opaque. The wide coverage of Reynolds number range simplifies the experiment.

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