ELEMENTAL Degradable Technology | Frac Plugs and Balls | Schlumberger

ELEMENTAL Degradable Technology

Patented material helps ensure full production

Rated up to 10,000 psi [69 MPa]
Rated up to 300 degF [149 degC]

Eliminate the need for mechanical milling of frac balls and plugs, improving horizontal well economics

ELEMENTAL degradable technology—used with multistage stimulation system frac balls—provides material that degrades completely within hours or days, eliminating the risk of stuck frac balls and the need to mill them. Because the balls never stick, they never delay or hinder production. By eliminating expensive, time-consuming milling operations, degradable frac balls allow longer horizontal wells to be drilled.

Material disintegrates predictably within hours

The patented aluminum-based material is stronger than conventional alloys but degrades predictably within hours or days, depending on ball size, temperature, and other downhole conditions. The degradable material disintegrates in water-based stimulation fluids—brines, slick water, linear gels, and cross-linked fluids—without the need for additives.

How it works: Ball degradation over time

Microgalvanic electrochemical cells in the material made with ELEMENTAL degradable technology derive their electrical energy from a spontaneous chemical reaction taking place in the cells. This oxidation-reduction reaction accelerates the dissolution process, allowing the balls to fully degrade within hours or days, depending on variables such as ball size and downhole conditions.

Rate of degradation by temperature

Balls made with ELEMENTAL technology degrade predictably in a wide variety of downhole conditions, including pressure, specific gravity, fluid type, and temperature. For example, in temperatures above 250 degF [121 degC], degradation will take place in 1 to 12 hours.

ELEMENTAL degradable technology
Degradable alloy frac balls
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