1. n. [Drilling]
A mechanical device that keeps casing from contacting the wellbore wall. A continuous 360° annular space around casing allows cement to completely seal the casing to the borehole wall. There are two distinct classes of centralizers. The older and more common is a simple, low-cost bow-spring design. Since the bow springs are slightly larger than the wellbore, they can provide complete centralization in vertical or slightly deviated wells. However, they do not support the weight of the casing very well in deviated wellbores. The second type is a rigid blade design. This type is rugged and works well even in deviated wellbores, but since the centralizers are smaller than the wellbore, they will not provide as good centralization as bow-spring type centralizers in vertical wells. Rigid-blade casing centralizers are slightly more expensive and can cause trouble downhole if the wellbore is not in excellent condition.