Screen cloth mesh size on shale shaker screen

Screen cloth mesh summary

In summary, specifying the screen cloth mesh count does not indicate screen separation performance, since screen opening size, not mesh count, determines the sizes of particles separated by the screen. Because there are almost an infinite number of mesh counts and wire diameters screen manufacturers have simplified the selection by offering several standard types of cloth series, such as MG, tensile bolting cloth (TBC), and extra-fine wire cloth (XF).

Screen cloth mesh count detail

Notice that an MG 80 cloth has an opening size of 181 microns, whereas a TBC 80 has an opening size of 222 microns. The MG 80 cloth has a smaller opening size than the TBC 80 because the MG cloth’s heavier wires take up some of its opening space. As a result, an MG 80 cloth can remove smaller solids than a TBC 80. Furthermore, as a result of the larger wires, the MG 80 cloth will be more resistant to abrasion and will last longer. The major drawback of the MG 80 compared with the TBC 80 is that it will allow less than half the flow rate. That is (see Table 7.5), the screen conductance (ability to transmit fluid) for the TBC 80 is 7.04 kilodarcy/mm, whereas for the MG 80 it is 2.91 kilodarcy/ mm.

Screen cloth mesh

Screen cloth mesh

Similar comparisons can be made between the separation/fluid conductance of the TBCs relative to the XF cloths. For instance, a single layer of XF 180 screen cloth has almost the same opening size as a single layer of TBC 165. The XF 180 screen could pass 72% more flow! The screen life of the XF 180 will most likely be shorter than the TBC 165, since the wire diameter of the XF 180 is 30.5 microns and that of the TBC 165 is 48.3 microns. Also, the larger openings would remove fewer drilled solids even though they would pass a larger quantity of fluid.

The National Bureau of Standards has a sieve series that is often used to describe screen opening sizes as well as screen cloth mesh. The opening size of this test series plots on uniform increments on semilog paper, making it ideal for use in plotting particle size distributions. Shaker screens used in the industry may be assigned an equivalent National Bureau of Standards sieve mesh count according to their opening sizes.

Relationship between opening and mesh

From the discussion above, it should be abundantly clear that mesh count alone does not specify the screen opening size. As a result, if mesh count is used, it must be accompanied by a designation of wire diameter, such as MG (mesh count) mesh count, TBC mesh count, or National Bureau of Standards Test Sieves equivalent mesh count. One other complicating factor enters with shale shaker screens: Layered screens do not have uniform opening sizes in either direction of the screen. This is the reason that the API has developed a procedure to identify shaker screen cloth mesh size.

Just as opening size has been used to measure separation performance, the percentage of open area of a single-layered screen has been used to indicate liquid throughput. The percentage of open area, or the portion


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