Chesapeake’s HDM® product is a non-toxic blend of iron and/or steel used in various applications such as radiation shielding blocks, protective blast walls and barriers, heavy drilling mud (patent pending), ship ballast, counter balance weights for lift bridges or industrial machinery, etc.  Ballast type may be permanent or removable.

Permanent Ballast Materials


PBM is typically chosen for high density, long life, and low cost. Materials used most often are lead, concrete, or a blend of hematite.

Sometimes permanent water tanks (or compartment flooding) can be used with permanent ballast depending on the application.

1. Lead 
The high density of lead makes it an ideal ballast material; however, there are price, environmental and health concerns involved with its use. As such, lead shot is no longer as prevalent, though it remains common in the external bulbs of sailboats (where increased size is detrimental to performance).

2. Concrete 
Concrete or cement is cheap, easily poured, fits around structure, and virtually maintenance proof over its lifetime. It has supplanted lead in most vessels today. It is also common to include scrap steel or excess rebar to increase density, with the concrete poured overtop of it.

3. HDM®  
With a proprietary mixture of steel, iron, oxides, and cement, HDM® provides the highest weight/low cost option as a permanent ballast material or removable ballast material.  The added benefit that HDM® can be mixed on site and either poured as a slurry or blown dry, enables the HDM® to take any shape of the void in which it is poured.

Radiation Shielding Blocks and Panels


Chesapeake HDM® is used in many radiation shielding applications.

Gamma radiation and X-rays are absorbed most effectively by high-density metals.  The use of lead in many products and devices poses certain health risks and environmental concerns.  Due to the extremely high density, these HDM blocks can enable engineers to design walls that are much thinner than normal concrete block walls and much cheaper than lead lined walls.   Blocks can be ordered in various sizes or the HDM® can be provided to mix in customer supplied concrete.

Security and Barrier Walls


Due to the high strength and density of Chesapeake HDM®, barriers can be built that withstand explosive blast, gun shots, high impact collisions, etc.  Applications are available for military, government, and safety organizations.

Oil Well Disaster Prevention


HDM Well Kill® can replace drilling mud or can be added to drilling mud to increase the density of the drilling mud. HDM Well Kill® can overcome the extremely high pressure in an oil well and stop the flow of oil so a well can be capped.

Chesapeake’s patent-pending HDM Well Kill®, a unique underwater HDM® epoxy system, will solve blow out catastrophes like the Horizon Deepwater Well.  HDM Well Kill® will immediately contain and permanently plug wells to minimize ecological disaster.

HDM Well Kill® involves rapidly pouring  a proprietary mixture of epoxies and HDM® down a pipe to the well blow out and injecting a time released activator into the heavy media immediately above the well head.

Unlike the proposed BP “Top Kill” operation which used light weight drilling mud (pictured below), the Chesapeake solution utilizes HDM® which weighs approximately 300 pounds per cubic foot, compared to approximately 120 pounds per cubic foot for drilling mud.  This HDM® slurry will provide a static pressure of more than 10,000 PSI at the discharge but far more dynamic pressure because the material will be flowing at raid rate through the pipe.


The unique solution from Chesapeake blends and mixes the binder system into the media in such proportions that it does not set up too soon, as to plug the feed pipe, or too late to, not creating the necessary blockage. This technology is common practice in the foundry Industry for making molds and cores for metal castings.HDM Well Kill® can also be used to increase the mass and fill the voids of a “Top Hat” cap to prevent leakage of oil from beneath the “Top Hat”. 

Bridge Counterweight

Because of the high density of Chesapeake HDM®, concrete counterweights can be made to take up to 2/3 less space. This not only increases the aesthetics of the structures, but also gives architects and engineers more flexibility in their designs.

Supporting documents