How To Compare Cyclone Efficiency

Cyclone,  A liquid-solids separation device which utilizes centrifugal force to speed up settling. Drilling fluid is pumped tangentially into a cone and the rotation of the fluid provides centrifugal force to separate particles by mass weight – the heavier solids being separated from the light solids and liquid.

Assuming Identical:

  • Mud
  • Feed Volume
  • Feed Pressure

Where: D = Density, V = Volume Rate, UF = Underflow

CASE #1: When DUF1 = DUF2

Then higher VUF = Greater Efficiency, since a greater volume of solids is
being removed at the same liquid/solids ratio.

CASE #2: When VUF1 = VUF2

Then higher DUF = Greater Efficiency, since more solids (and less liquid) are
being removed in the same underflow volume.

CASE #3: When one cone has higher DUF and higher VUF, then that cone
is operating at significantly greater efficiency.

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Comparison of Plate Separator, Centrifuge and Hydrocyclone

Design of Hydrocyclone for Drilling Solid Separation

The accelerated gravitational forces generated in hydrocyclones are inversely proportional to the radius of the hydrocyclone cylinder. Thus, the larger the diameter of the cone, the coarser the separation. In general, the larger the hydrocyclone, the coarser its cut point and greater its throughput. The smaller the cone, the smaller the size of particles the cone will separate. In other words, the median particle size removed decreases with cone diameter.

In some extreme cases, no solids will exit the cone apex if the vacuum is high enough. The siphon breaker installed as illustrated should be one quarter of the diameter of the overflow header pipe.