Shale shakers in oilfield solids control

Shale shakers are the equipment utilized vibrator and screen to separate solid out of drilling fluid. In oilfield solids control, shakers are always treated as initial important part. It’s the first solids control and purification step.

Solids control shale shakers

Shale shaker is also referred to vibrating screen. One method of removing solids from drilling mud is to pass the mud over the surface of a vibrating screen. Particles smaller than the openings in the screen pass through the holes of the screen along with the liquid phase of the mud. Particles too large to pass through the screen are thereby separated from the mud for disposal. Basically, a screen acts as a “go-no-go” gauge:  Either a particle is small enough to pass through the screen or it is not.

Shale shakers in solids control

Shale shakers in solids control

Screening Surface. Screening surfaces used in solids control equipment are generally made of woven wire screen cloth, in many different sizes and shapes. The following characteristics of screen cloth are important in solids applications.

Screens may be constructed with one or more LAYERS. NON-LAYERED screens have a single screen cloth mounted in a screen panel. These screens will have openings that are regular in size and shape. LAYERED screens have two or more screen cloths, usually of different mesh, mounted in a screen panel. These screens will have openings that vary greatly in size & shape.

Mesh is defined as the number of openings per linear inch. Mesh, can be measured by starting at the center of one wire and counting the number of openings to a point one inch away.

Shaker screen opening size

It is the distance between wires in the screen cloth & is usually measured in fractions of an inch or microns.

Screens of the same mesh may have different sized openings depending on the diameter of the wire used to weave the screen cloth.

The smaller the diameter of the wire results in larger screen openings allowing larger particles to pass through the screen. The larger the diameter of the wire, the smaller the particles that will pass through the screen Remember: It is the size of the opening in a screen not the mesh count that determines the size of the particles separated by the screen.

In future posts, we’ll talk about more detail on shale shakers maintenance.


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