A Mud Cleaner is a desander, desilter and shale shaker unit that is used to remove sand particles which have a grain size of 20 microns or less.
This is a hydroclone that operates on the basis of centrifugal force such that the mud with smaller particles is returned to the active system while the larger particles are discarded. The primary function of a mud cleaner is to remove sand and silt from drilling fluids in the drilling rigs. The usual size of a desilter is 6 inches and above, however, the most common size is 10 inches.
Mud cleaners are used mainly with oil- and synthetic-base mud where the liquid discharge from the cone cannot be discharged, either for environmental or economic reasons. Desilters as well as desanders are considered to be mud cleaners which are similar to each other with the only difference in the size of mud particles that are removed by the two devices.
Desilters remove mud particle sizes which are 20 microns or lesser whereas desanders remove mud particle sizes from 50 to 70 microns. The installation position of desilter is downstream from the desander in the surface mud system.
All those solids that are not removed by a shale shaker are removed by a desander. Further the smaller size of granules lesser than 20 microns are removed by the desilter. Mud cleaners do not have any moving parts and the removal of sand and silt from the drilling fluid is done by the centrifugal force on the device.