Solids control system history

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Solids control system history

Drilling fluid maintenance cost, clean up & disposal cost as well as the over all 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 1800’s. When open earthen pits we 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 hole. This was the first solids control technique ever used.

The next innovation in solids control came when the shale shakers were introduced in the early 1930’s in 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 1930’s was the cone classifier or hydrocyclone. The basic principle of this device involves the centrifugal 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.

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