For more than 40 years, Frontier Technology Corporation has been a leading provider of californium-252 (Cf-252) neutron sources for customers in a wide range of industries. We specialize in providing state-of-the-art neutron sources for oil, gas, sand, and shale applications around the world. Finely calibrated neutron source systems help oil and gas professionals to measure ground porosity and permeability, borehole depth and length, and the presence of hydrocarbons to pinpoint oil, gas, sand, and shale locations. 

All of our neutron sources are tailored and manufactured in exact accordance with customer requirements and industry standards. This page will provide an overview of our californium-252 neutron sources and capabilities for the oil, gas, sand, and shale industries.

Californium-252 Neutron Sources: An Overview

Californium-252 is a synthetically-produced radioactive isotope that spontaneously emits high levels of neutrons. Due to its highly radioactive nature, Cf-252 must be handled with care. Cf-252’s stable neutron emissions make it useful for a wide variety of applications, from initiating nuclear fission in nuclear power plants to detecting and alerting the presence of explosives. 

The substantial number of neutrons released by Cf-252 makes this isotope particularly useful for detection applications. When bombarded with neutrons from a Cf-252 source, materials release gamma radiation that can be analyzed to discover the material and elemental composition without using invasive methods. 

For over four decades, Frontier Technology Corporation has been a leading manufacturer of californium-252 neutron sources. Our Cf-252 sources are enclosed in double-encapsulated nuclear containers composed of durable 304L stainless steel and/or Zircaloy-2. We use the latest manufacturing processes to ensure optimal construction, including Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding and circumferential seal welding within tight tolerances of ±10%. 

All of our californium-252 sources are individually manufactured to custom specifications. Learn more about our californium-252 sources here:

Californium-252 in Well Logging Equipment

Cf-252 neutron sources are particularly useful for oil and gas well-logging operations. When integrated with borehole logging or downhole logging equipment, Cf-252 sources can provide oil, gas, sand, and shale industry professionals with vital information about the surrounding rock composition, porosity and structural integrity, borehole dimensions, liquid presence, and fluid properties.

Borehole logging is an analytical process in which highly specialized detection equipment is fed into a borehole to determine the geological properties in the surrounding area. Borehole logging’s primary benefit is its ability to provide accurate measurements of formations below the surface under existing circumstances out on the field, unlike more traditional core sample methods (which typically need to be transported to a dedicated facility for analysis). Neutron sources can measure the hydrogen index in the areas around the borehole to determine the porosity of the geological features. Cf-252 neutron sources are used to bombard the walls of the borehole with neutrons, and the resultant gamma ray emissions and neutron populations are detected and analyzed. 

Choosing Frontier Technology Corporation for Oil, Gas, Sand, and Shale Neutron Sources

At Frontier Technology Corporation, we work closely with oil, gas, sand, and shale companies to create industry-specific neutron source solutions for their needs. We offer a wide range of source capsule sizes to meet varying requirements. We have 32 versions of standard-length Cf-252 sources available in various combinations of inner and outer capsule materials, allowing us to fully tailor your Cf-252 source to your application and system.

To ensure the safe use and implementation of our Cf-252 sources, we transport our sources within Type A radioactive shipping containers. When your FTC-supplied Cf-252 source is depleted, you can simply return it to us for fee-free disposal (simply cover the shipping and handling costs for the return, and we’ll take care of the rest). 

Learn more about Frontier Technology Corporation’s Cf-252 sources at our californium-252 information page, or explore more information about their industrial uses in our free eBook, Californium-252 in Oil & Gas Well Logging Applications

For more information about our services and capabilities for the oil, gas, sand, and shale sectors, reach out to us or request a quote today.