Solids control is a technique used for well drilling to provide prepared drilling fluids for drilling rigs. Drilling fluid maintenance cost, clean up, and disposal cost as well as the overall cost of boring can be reduced dramatically when proper solids control techniques are utilized. These facts were recognized in the oil industry in the late 19th century when open earthen pits were used to separate the cuttings from the borehole. This was accomplished by a series of weirs and settling pits that allowed the solids to naturally settle out by using gravity. The clean mud then flowed into a suction pit to be re-pumped down the hole. This was the first solids control technique ever used.
The next innovation in solids control came when the shale shaker was introduced in the early 1930s for the oil industry. The shale shakers were derived from technology used in the mining industry. The shale shaker remains today the primary piece of solids control equipment utilized in the industry.
Another machine borrowed from the mining industry in the 1930s was the cone classifier or hydrocyclone. The basic principle of this device involves the centripetal forces brought about by the high velocity of the drilling fluid spinning in the cone, forcing the larger and heavier solids to settle outward toward the cyclone wall and downward toward the underflow solids discharge. Together with the shale shaker, hydrocyclones have become an integral part of today’s solid control system.
Solids Control Equipments