Frac sand is high-purity quartz sand that plays a significant role in the fracing process. When high-pressure water forces the shales open, frac sand is injected to prevent them from closing, allowing the continued release of fossil fuels. Frac sand is different from other types of sand because of its roundness and high silica content. While other sand is polluted with various minerals and rocks, frac sand mainly contains durable quartz that can better withstand extreme underground pressure.
Frac sand is an ideal proppant because it’s durable and crush-resistant, which increases the efficiency of a mine by maximizing the amount of oil extracted. Read more about the fracing process, the different types of sand available, and how to make frac sand in today’s blog.
Fracing wells require hundreds of tons of sand for their operations, but before the sand is used, it needs to be removed from the ground in a five-step process that includes:
Frac sand mines are usually located in remote areas, so tree and vegetation removal needs to be done before drilling.
Industrial scrapers and tracked excavators remove the topsoil and rock layers. The removed layers are stacked into mounds that serve as light and noise barriers.
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock that may be loose enough to remove without blasting. However, larger deposits need to be broken into smaller pieces using explosives.
Front-end loaders scoop sandstone rocks from the mine pit and deposit them into trucks that haul them to a processing facility.
The excavated sandstone is broken into grain sand using an industrial crusher. Once processed, the sand is washed, sifted, separated, and tested before being stockpiled and sold.
Ready to partner with a company that provides high-quality frac sand for immediate use? Contact Pontotoc today to learn more about our silica sand production process.
Using the right frac sand is the key to operating a successful mine. The wrong frac sand reduces overall yield and causes delays, impacting the efficiency of your mine. Here are the three main types of frac sand and the advantages each provides:
100 mesh is the most frequently used type of frac sand. Some advantages of 100 mesh sand include:
- High crush resistance
- Minimized fines due to high sphericity
- Capable of withstanding stresses up to 14,000 PSI
40/70 frac sand features greater silica content and a highly permeable proppant structure capable of withstanding significant pressure and closure stresses. The advantages of 40/70 sand include:
- Low acid solubility
- High silica content that provides extreme crush performance
- Strength to withstand pressure up to 10,000 PSI
40/80 mesh is medium-density frac sand that provides a quality pathway for oil and gas production. Some of the advantages offered by 40/80 sand are:
- Low turbidity that reduces dust
- Elite crush performance
- High cracking points
- Can handle closure pressure up to 10,000 PSI
Pontotoc understands the importance of an effective frac sand supply chain. That’s why our silica sand production involves washing, grading, and testing our sand to make sure it meets industry-standard specifications for sphericity, acid solubility, and crush resistance.
While other mines have a slow pickup process that decreases mine efficiency, our automated truck loading process is completed in as little as seven minutes. Our innovative system increases safety by keeping your driver in their truck the entire time.
When you order from Pontotoc, you receive sand that’s ready for immediate use because it has gone through a detailed quality assurance process that removes any debris. We have the flexibility to serve customers across the United States and are committed to practicing safe and sustainable mining techniques, including:
- Recycling 98% of the water used in our operations
- Reserving material for land reclamation
- Draining water from the sand before drying
Contact Pontotoc today to learn more about how our frac sand production process can increase the efficiency of your facility.