Solids Control Equipment

Published: December 3, 2021 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Solids Control Equipment Mean?

Solids control equipment, in the context of drilling fluid, is the equipment used to remove solid contaminants and gas entrapped in the used drilling mud. The process includes equipment such as:

  • Shale shakers
  • Hydrocyclones such as desanders or desilters
  • Settling tanks
  • Agitators
  • Vacuum degassers
  • Mud cleaners
  • Decanter centrifuges

Solids control helps reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation and disposal of used drilling mud. It also effectively reduces the cost of the project by allowing the used drilling fluid to be cleaned and recycled for further drilling.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Solids Control Equipment

Solids can be removed from the mud in different ways using different equipment, all of which comprise solids control equipment.

The shale shaker vibrates as the mud passes over it, allowing the liquid part and small solids to pass through the screen. This removes up to 80% of solids from the used drilling fluid.

The settling tank allows the drilling fluid to rest, letting the larger particles settle to the bottom.

The vacuum degasser removes the gas trapped in the mud to maintain the density of the mud.

Hydrocyclones can be desanders or desilters. They convert the pressure generated by a centrifugal pump into centrifugal force, allowing the suspended solids in the drilling mud to separate from the fluid.

Mud cleaners are used to recover barite for reuse. They are a combination of a fine-screened shale shaker under a desilter, placed above a high-energy vibrating screen.

Decanter centrifuges remove heavy solids and lighter components of the liquid using centrifugal force. The conical container consists of a double-screw type conveyor that rotates in the direction of the container but at a slightly lower speed.


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