The first line of defense for a properly designed solids control system has been and will continue to be, the shale shaker. Without proper screening of the drilling fluid during this initial removal step, reduced efficiency and effectiveness of all downstream solids control equipment in the system is assured. The downstream hydrocyclones will simply be overloaded beyond their designed capacity. The shale shaker, in various forums has played a prominent role in solids control systems for several decades. The two main shale shakers utilized in the utility industry are:
1 Elliptical, "unbalanced" design
2 Linear "straight line" design
Shale Shaker Maintenance
Because of their greater efficiency & complexity the use of finer mesh screens is essential. This requires more attention than the standard scalping shale shaker screen. Besides periodic lubrication, fine screen use requires the following care:
1 Wash down screens with power washer regularly.
2 Check screens for tear or rips.
3 Make sure screens are properly mounted.
4 Make sure shaker is at proper angle.
5 Check wiring or a regular basis high speed shakers tend to wear through wiring insulation.
In addition, frequent checks must be made for plugging or blinding screens. The shaker angle can be increased or decreased to help eliminate this problem. For blinding screens a more coarse or finer screen may be installed to help solve the problem. Remember your shale shaker is your first line of defense in your solids control system. Choose a shale shaker that is correct for your application and have rig personnel learn to use it correctly.