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Shale Shaker – Solids Control Equipment

2011 April 13
Posted by Bruce

Shale shaker is the first phase solids control equipment in drilling mud system, also the core equipment for the solids control system. It is used to remove the drill cuttings from the drilling fluid  that is used for boring holes into the earth. As the chemicals containing in the drilling fluid is valuable but harmful to environment, controlling the solids in drilling fluid could make the fluid recyclable and prevent the enviroment from being damaged. so research into improved shaker is ongoing so as to reduce the construction cost and protect the natural circumstance.

linear motion shale shakerBEM shale shaker

Shale Shaker Design

Shale shakers typically consist of elctrical controling parts,large power motor, wire mesh screens or sieves  of various mesh sizes and the high strength alloy weir structure that used to support the motor and screen. The vibrating strength and  deck angle are adjustable according to diffrent working requirements.

How shale shaker works

The centrifugal pump will suck the mud into the weir of the shaker. Commonly, shale or large size particals are blocked by the vibrating fine mesh screen. Meanwhile, the drilling fluid acrosses the sieve hole and flows back into the drilling fluid system. Thus, it separates the solid drill cuttings from the fluid so that it can be recirculated back down the wellbore.

Shale Shaker Types

In oilfield industry, linear motion shale shakers are widely used. With the technique developing, balanced elliptical motion(BEM) shale shaker is gradually used in more and more projects. Comparing with the linear montion shale shaker, the treating capacity of the BEM shale shaker increases by20%-30%, and the discharge speed increases by 10%-20%.

Shaker Screen Panels

Shaker Screen panel plays a important role in removing particles that are larger than the mesh size. Screen selection is critical since shaking is the primary stage in the removal of solids, the selection of the screen obtains quite a lot consideration. A good number of serious problems would result from the improper screen selection, such as de-blinding, loss of drilling fluids, premature pump part failures, overloading of other solids removal equipment within the mud systems, decreased service life and reduced flow rate capacity.

Causes of shaker screen working failure

* Personnel improperly trained on handling, storage, maintenance and installation
* Careless storage of screen panels prior to use
* Screens damaged before use from improper handling during installation
* Deck rubbers improperly installed
* Deck rubbers dirty, worn or missing
* Dried cuttings or drilling fluid left on screen during shutdown of shaker
* Personnel walking on screens or using the shaker as a work table
* Tools being dropped on screens
* Extremely high mud weights or heavy solids loading
* Defective or improperly manufactured screens
* Use of high pressure wash guns to clean plugged screens

Shale Shaker Maintenance

The maintenance for shale shaker foucs mostly on the maintenace on the shaker screen. The greater efficiency of the use of finer mesh screens requires more attention than the standard scalping shale shaker screen.
Besides periodic lubrication, fine screen use requires the following care:

* Wash down screens with power washer regularly
* Check screens for tear or rips
* Make sure screens are properly mounted
* Make sure shaker is at proper angle
* Check wiring or a regular basis high speed shakers tend to wear through wiring insulation


Remember your shale shaker is your first line of defense in your solids control system, so choose a correct shale shaker and have skilled rig personnel to operate it correctly.

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