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NEW YORK- Davies Molding LLC, part of industrial holding company Heico Cos. LLC, plans to market an innovative biodegradable frac ball for fracking operations.
The latest Davies Descender frac ball, which can be used in hydraulic fracturing applications, dissolves quickly in plain water and low temperatures, Davies Molding national sales manager Tim Hansen told AMM.
Most frac balls are tougher or slower to dissolve and require special chemical mixes, he said. "Standard frac balls (are) put down there and they're composites or metal even, and so you have to do a clean out with drills, and everything is very costly.
"Ours go down. They don't stick. They're in position, and in hours they dissolve," Hansen said. "They don't change the composition of the oil. They don't need harsher chemicals to dissolve them- they dissolve with just plain water."
A specific polymer resin and its chemical composition are key to the technical properties of the new Davies Molding frac ball, according to Hansen. Davies Molding has an exclusivity agreement with one company that makes the polymer, he said, but declined to reveal the company.
"The chemical is out there, but we developed it for this application," he said. "It's a standard item out there. We have (partnering) with us a very large manufacturer of plastic products (that is) able to mold it at high capacity for this application."
Davies Descender frac balls are made of compostable and eco-friendly materials, and can withstand the high pressure and temperatures seen during fracking, although they later dissolve quickly, according to Davies' marketing material.
The Carol Stream, Ill.- based company plans to market the new product line at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston in May and at other energy conferences.
Chicago- based parent company Heico recently restructured its approach to sales into the energy sector, rebranding a new unit as the Heico Energy Services Group, of which Davies Molding is a part (http://www.amm.com/Article/3434900/Heico-renewing-push-into-energy-with-reorganization.html).