Propping agents are required to "prop open" the fracture once the pumps are shut down and the fracture begins to close. The ideal propping agent is strong, resistant to crushing, resistant to corrosion, has a low density, and is readily available at low cost. The products that best meet these desired traits are silica sand, resin-coated sand (RCS), and ceramic proppants. Silica sand is obtamust be tested to be sure it has the necessary compressive strength to be used in any specific situation. Generally, sand is used to prop open fractures in shallow formations.