Drilling fluids are used while drilling holes on the surface of the earth for oil, natural gas and even for water wells. The different types of drilling fluids that are used are water, water based muds (mixture of water and clay or other chemicals), oil or synthetic oil.
The advantages of using drilling fluids are;
– Due to the continuous use of machines for long time, the machine get heated. These fluids helps in keeping the drilling machine cool.
– As there is continuous contact between the drill pipes and the walls of the holes, heat may be generated due to friction. Drilling fluids, especially oil based fluids provides lubrication to the drill pipes.
– Keeps the machine clean.
– Maintains pressure on formation fluids (naturally occurring fluids).
This drilling fluids are poured inside the hole with different flow rate and pressure. These fluids then collect the cuttings of rocks from the hole and are then forced out of the hole by a pump. This mixture is then passed through a shale shaker.
A shale shaker is an equipment that removes large solids that are mixed with the drilling fluids, drilling waste, so that the fluids can be reused. These shale shakers not only improve the efficiency but also is very important from the cost cutting point of view. The basic parts of a shale shaker are the base of the shaker called Hopper, a feeder where the mixture of fluid and solid is collected, a screen and a vibrator.
Shale shaker is a vibrating equipment that uses a Shaker Screen (a mesh like structure supported on a frame) to separate the mixture. The vibratory motion may either be linear, elliptical or circular. The efficiency of a shale shaker also depends upon the vibration speed and the amplitude and frequency of the shale shaker.
The main functions of shale shaker is to make the drilling fluids reusable by separating the solids that are mixed with it.