1. n. [Well Completions]
A type of packer that uses an inflatable bladder to expand the packer element against the casing or wellbore. In preparation for setting the packer, a drop ball or series of tubing movements are generally required, with the hydraulic pressure required to inflate the packer provided by carefully applying surface pump pressure. Inflatable packers are capable of relatively large expansion ratios, an important factor in through-tubing work where the tubing size or completion components can impose a significant size restriction on devices designed to set in the casing or liner below the tubing.
See: drop ball