Battelle is starting limited manufacturing of a new explosive initiator device for oil and gas development. The new initiator has been shown to be more reliable and accurate in explosive timing than similar devices available in the market today.
Initiators are used to trigger explosions for downhole and hydraulic fracturing operations. Reliable timing is critical to ensure worker safety, avoid expensive equipment damage or production delays, and ensure that the explosive is triggered at precisely the right location.
The device developer came to Battelle to manufacture the device because of their clean room production capabilities and unique expertise with energetic materials. Energetics must be carefully processed and handled to avoid explosions during manufacturing. Battelle leveraged extensive experience working with microchip initiators for military, construction and mining applications to develop a stable, repeatable manufacturing process and improve the initiator design for safer tooling. In addition to feasibility testing and small-scale manufacturing, Battelle provides materials development and selection, modeling, prototyping and design selection services for wide range of energetic devices.
The initiators are currently undergoing qualification testing with one of the largest global oil field service companies. They could be available for the commercial market as early as 2015.