Hydraulic fracturing proppants

A proppant is a solid material, typically sand, treated sand, or man-made ceramic materials, designed to keep an induced hydraulic fracture open, during, or following a fracturing treatment. Many other materials have been used as proppants, including walnut hulls, natural sand, glass, resin-coated sand, sintered bauxite, kaolin, and fused zirconia.

  • Kaolin – A type of clay found in nature. Unrelated, but interesting, kaolin is also used for mild-to-moderate diarrhea, severe diarrhea (dysentery), and cholera.
  • Sintered bauxite – Sintering bauxite is a process of heating and compressing bauxite ore to make a powdered or fine material
  • Fused Zirconia – Fused, high purity zirconia-mullite grain is produced by electric furnace fusion of alumina and zircon sand. During melting, the zircon and alumina react to produce a mixture of mullite and zirconia.
  • Walnut Shells – Walnut shells, pits, and husks create a lightweight proppant used in the field.
  • Glass Proppants – Recycling or industrial waste engineered into glass beads
  • Natural sand – Silica sand commonly mined from the Permian Basin
  • Resin coated sand – Mostly raw sand treated and coated with a resin. Resins can be formulated for different applications.

Proppant supply chain from sand mine to wellhead

Sand in the United States is commonly mined in the Permian Basin, a large sedimentary basin in Texas and New Mexico. Unique proppant containers are used to transfer material to the wellhead.

It is added to a fracking fluid that may vary in composition depending on the type of fracturing used, and can be gel, foam, or slickwater–based. In addition, there may be unconventional fracking fluids. Fluids make tradeoffs in such material properties as viscosity, where more viscous fluids can carry more concentrated proppant; the energy or pressure demands to maintain a certain flux pump rate (flow velocity) that will conduct the proppant appropriately; pH, various rheological factors, among others. In addition, fluids may be used in low-volume well stimulation of high-permeability sandstone wells (20k to 80k gallons per well) to the high-volume operations such as shale gas and tight gas that use millions of gallons of water per well.

Proppant loading

SafeRack understands that loading tanker and hopper trucks can be challenging because they come in a variety of sizes, and configurations necessitating versatile proppant loading solutions. SafeRack truck access gangways are engineered to articulate and self-level, adjusting to varying vehicle heights. Leveraging a unique spring counterbalance system allows our gangways to be repositioned with minimal effort. With optional features like the offset safety cage, and the SafeLok gangway safety lockdown system, SafeRack offers a wide variety of innovative solutions to help your truck proppant loading facility operate safer and more efficiently than ever before.

The equipment designed for the loading/unloading of cement, frac sand, and other binding substances must be able to stand up to heavy use and punishing work environments. Tested and proven, SafeRack gangways are the standard of the cement industry. Our heavy-duty, innovative solutions help keep your employees safe and productive. And our experienced team will assist you throughout the entire fractionation process—start to finish.

Frac Sand Loading

Loading Rack Gangway Designed for Enhanced Safety and Reliability.

The #1 selling Gangway in North America. Made in the USA, SafeRack’s railcar gangwaystruck gangways, and marine gangways, are reliable, highly engineered & safe.

  • Consultative Approach – Our preference is to visit your site in person, to develop a system that’s right for you
  • Expedited Access Gangway Delivery – Quick order processing, readily available replacement parts, and fast delivery
  • Highly Engineered Access Gangways – Advanced, innovative designs are proven in the field to be easy to use and provide better ergonomics
  • Quality Access Gangway Manufacturing – Proudly made in the USA
  • Precision Built Access Gangway- Our aluminum access gangways use fewer parts and fewer welds result in stronger, longer-lasting solutions that require less maintenance
  • Specialized Applications – Specialty gangways and cages are ideal for the cement and frac sand industries

SafeRack designs, builds, and installs safe, ergonomic, and efficient loading platform gangways for small and large businesses throughout North America. Backed by years of experience and a hands-on, collaborative approach, the patented solutions are delivered on time, every time. And, just as important, they come within budget and without hassles.

Call for an on-site visit to make sure you get gangways that fit and work as you expect. SafeRack representatives visit your site and help with complex retrofits or new greenfield applications.