Recent Sand Testing Q&A


We have received some recent questions in the lab relating to various lab testing services.  I will share some of them with you!

Q: How do we do some initial evaluation on our sand to see what it can do?  We doubt it can be used for frac sand.

A: We recommend that you do the following, to do an initial “work up” on your sand:

– Washing and attrition scrubbing, if needed (shows how much silt and dirt needs to be washed out of your sand, so you can estimate yields).

– Sieve analysis (you need to know the size distribution of your sand).

– Silica content and other chemical analysis (we recommend doing “whole rock” testing, which gives you the major oxides, silica is one of them, and also some basic elemental testing).

– Sphericity & roundness, and microscopic pictures (gives further indications as to what the uses might be for your sand).

Q: What is the difference between barite and frac sand?

A: Barite is a mineral that is heavy, and used to weigh down and add density to the drilling fluid.  Frac sand is sent down with the fracturing fluid, in order to “prop” open the shale so oil and gas can flow up.

Q: Can you do garnet testing?

A: Yes, we have done garnet testing before, although it’s not too common.  We recommend a wash, sieve analysis, sphericity and roundness on the predominant size fraction, chemical analysis, and then we could also do a crush test

Q: Are there any metals that need to be tested for barite?

A: Yes, if the barite is to be used for offshore drilling, the EPA will require it be tested for mercury and cadmium.

Ok, that’s all for today — if you would like to do any of the testing above, contact us here!

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