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Mechanical Separation Basics by desander, desilter and centrifuge

2017-10-26

Mechanical separation equipment employs mass differences, size differences or a combination of both to selectively reject undesirable solids and retain desirable drilling fluid.  The desanders and desilters utilize centrifuge force and mass difference between the solids density and liquid density for solids removal. The shale shakers employ a vibrating screen of various micron-sized differences.

A standard rig shaker or fine screen shaker is vital to the solids control and should process 100% of the mud returning from the starting pit before allowing this mud to be processed by any of the down stream equipment you may utilize in your solids control system.


Located directly down stream from the shale shaker will be one of the hydrocyclone devices: Desander and Desilter


These should be sized to process at least 125% of the rig circulation rate while discarding undesirable cuttings & solids down to the 50 micron size range. The desander removes the majority of the solids down to the 100micron size range and prevents the desilter from being over loaded. The desilter removes the majority of the solids down to the 15micron range.