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High-strength magnesium alloys, such as Elektron 43, can be used in down-hole applications in oil and gas wells. Elektron 43 has high tensile and compressive strengths, as well as low density. This tough, extruded alloy material is also used in electronics housings to lighten assemblies in wireline applications. Due to its good shear and high-temperature strength, elongation and isotropic characteristics, Elektron 43 is an excellent choice as a material for frac-balls in hydraulic fracturing systems used in well-completion applications.

Magnesium Elektron has recently developed a new magnesium alloy that meets several critical requirements for the Oil & Gas industry. SoluMag is a high strength, high corrosion-rate magnesium alloy, developed specifically for the Oil & Gas industry and targeted initially at hydraulic fracturing. SoluMag magnesium alloy has high compressive and tensile strengths to hold pressure in demanding, sliding sleeve ball seat equipment. SoluMag also has a corrosion rate superior to other materials to allow for complete dissolution in brine environments once its functional life is over. This new material doesn’t require acid or other aggressive chemicals to dissolve and will completely dissolve in frack fluids during the flow-back portion of the process. This combination of properties (high strength and high corrosion rate) was developed based on Magnesium Elektron’s extensive knowledge of magnesium alloys and how these materials function in severe applications. Contact Magnesium Elektron to discuss how SoluMag can work in your process or how we can develop magnesium alloy materials to solve your particular need.

Other high strength wrought magnesium alloys, such as ZK60A and AZ80A, can be used in these applications but are limited by their high temperature strength and anisotropic behavior. Wrought magnesium alloys can be produced in solid and hollow profiles that can be machined to high tolerances and fine surface finishes. Our Elektron materials offer an excellent combination of properties that make them a competitive alternative to polymers and other light metals.

In oil exploration, magnesium calibration blocks are used to distinguish comparative subsurface densities and to assist in calibrating nuclear density equipment, mostly for rotary drilling. The block is typically located at the well surface where the logging-while-drilling (LWD) tool passes through the calibration block hole.