Shale Shaker and Hydrocyclones for Solids Control or Mineral Processing

Shale shakers and hydrocyclones are both components of solids control equipment used in many industries, such as oil and gas drilling, coal bed methane (CBM), horizontal directional drilling (HDD), diamond drilling, water drilling. They used to separate drilling cuttings for first phase cleaning in a whole solids control system. They are also both used for mineral processing for classification or dewatering based on the materials’ particle sizes.

  1. Shale shaker or vibrating screens:

In a solids control system, once processed by the shale shakers, the drilling fluid is deposited into the mud tanks where other solid control equipment begins to remove the finer solids from it. The solids removed by the shale shaker are discharged out of the discharge port into a separate holding tank where they await further treatment or disposal.

A vibrating screen is a key piece of equipment in mineral processing. It’s used to separate feeds containing solid and crushed ores down to less than 200 μm in size. The vibrating screens take a tough job and also responsible for the heaviest burden for separation.

  1. Hydrocyclones

Hydrocyclones are a type of cyclonic separators that separate product phases mainly on the basis of differences in gravity. They are used with aqueous solutions as the primary feed fluid1. Unlike dry or dust cyclones, which separate solids from gases, hydrocyclones separate solids or different phase fluids from the bulk fluid.The hydrocyclone separator uses pressure created by a centrifugal pump or hydrostatic head to generate centrifugal force and flow patterns within the hydrocyclone. It does not have any moving parts.

Hydrocyclones have different sizes, in a solids control system, the most popular 2 sizes are 10 inch and 4 inch diameters. For mineral processing, larger sized hydrocyclones are adopted.

  1. In practice, the shale shakers are more efficient than hydrocyclones, and also consumes less power. That’s why more and more end users would like to replace the hydrocyclones by shale shakers, but there is a challenge that the cut point of shakers are not easy to become so small. Now GN high frequency fine sizer series vibrating screens can solve this problem by using flexible polyurethane screen meshes with fine apertures.

Welcome to contact GN for more information.