Dry Bulk

What Is Frac Sand and Who Hauls It?

Posted by on Thursday, June 2, 2016 in Dry Bulk, News

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Sand used in fracking operations is quite different from ordinary sand. Frac sand is a very tough material that resists compressive forces of up to several tons per square inch. Frac sand is a very high purity quartz sand which is very uniform in size and composition and has a rounded shape. This sand has been used for decades for glass-making and metallurgical uses.

The demand for fracking sand has exploded recently. Thousands of oil and natural gas wells are being stimulated through the hydraulic fracking process. As high pressure water is injected into the rock surrounding the wells, the rock fractures and water rushes into these fractures, inflating them and carrying with it particles of sand. When the water pressure is reduced, the sand remains in the fractures propping them open to allow the petroleum product to flow out. Several thousand tons of sand may be required to stimulate a single well.

Frac sand is mined from specific rock and mineral locations where it is most likely to be pure quartz, having gone through multiple cycles of weathering and erosion which removes other minerals leaving the quartz behind. Additionally, mining locations are selected where techtonic forces have not weakened the sand grains. After mining, frac sand undergoes additional processing to optimize its performance. The sand is washed, drained and air-dried. The dry grains are then sized for different customer uses. Some frac sand is coated with resin to further improve performance. Sand that is not suitable for fracking is sold for other purposes.

Tons of this industrial mineral is used across the country by a variety of companies, all of which rely on quality dry bulk carriers. Large scale oil and gas fracking operations require a constant supply of frac sand to handle both foreseen and unforeseen demands. With easy to unload pneumatic trailers and team of logistics experts, CCC Transportation is the ideal choice for companies that demand on-time delivery.

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