Drilling Fluid Cleaner

Drilling fluid cleaners were equipment of solids control, also called mud cleaner or mud conditioner, etc..  Drilling fluid cleaner was evolved in the early 1970s to remove fine drilled solids from medium weighted mud without excessive loss of barite and fluid. It is also proved valuable tools in drilling loop closed systems and other applications (dispersed weighted). Drilling fluid cleaner use a combination of desander and/or desilter hydrocyclones and very fine mesh vibrating screens (120~400 mesh) to remove fine drilled solids while returning valuable mud additives and liquids back to the active mud system.

Simply speaking, drilling fluid cleaner is shale shaker, desander, desilter assy, it is also called 3 in 1.

Main Parts Of Cleaner (Figure 1)

Fig 1. Structure of aipu Hunter-240 Drilling fluid cleaner

Hydrocyclones are core part in drilling fluid cleaner. The principle of hydrocylone working:

Hydrocylones separate solids according to mass, a function of both density and particle size. However, in unweighted drilling fluids, the solids density has a comparatively narrow range and size has the greatest influence on their settling. Centrifugal forces act on the suspended solids particles, so those with the largest mass (or largest size) are the first to move outward toward the wall of the hydrocyclone. Consequently, large solids with a small amount of liquid concentrate at the cone wall, and smaller particles and the majority of liquid concentrate in the inner portion.

Larger-size (higher-mass) particles, upon reaching the conical section, are exposed to the greatest centrifugal force and remain in their downward spiral path. The solids sliding down the wall of the cone, along with the bound liquid, exit through the apex orifice. This creates the underflow of the hydrocyclone.

Smaller particles are concentrated in the middle of the cone with most of the drilling fluid. As the cone narrows, the downward spiraling path of the innermost layers is restricted by the reduced crosssectional area. A second, upward vortex forms within the hydrocylone and the center fluid layers with smaller solids particles turn toward the overflow. At the point of maximum shear, the shear stress within a 4-inch desilter is on the order and magnitude of 1,000 reciprocal seconds.

The upward moving vortex creates a low-pressure zone in the center of the hydrocyclone. In a balanced cone, air will enter the lower apex in counterflow to the solids and liquid discharged from the hydrocylone. In an unbalanced cone, a rope discharge will emerge from the cone, resulting in excessive quantities of liquid and a wide range of solids in the discard.


Aipu Drilling fluid Cleaner Parameters
Model Hunter 50 Hunter 90 Hunter 120 Hunter 200 Hunter 240 Hunter 320
Capacity 50m³/h 90m³/h 120m³/h 200m³/h 240m³/h 320m³/h
Desander Size 8 inch 10 inch
Desander Qty 1 Pcs 2 Pcs 3 Pcs
Desilter Size 4 inch
Desilter Qty 4 Pcs 6 Pcs 8 Pcs 10 Pcs 12 Pcs 16 Pcs
Work Pressure 0.25~0.45  MPa
Separate Point 15μm~74μm
Bottom Shaker Model Hunter Mini Hunter D3 Hunter MG4
Vibration Mode Linear Motion
Vibrator Motor 2×0.75Kw 2×1.72Kw 2×1.72Kw
G Force ≤7.5G
Deck Angle -1 – +5°
Screen Area 1.35㎡ 2.27㎡ 2.73㎡
Screen Panel 2 Pcs 3 Pcs 4 Pcs
Dimension (mm) 1650×1250×1750 1650×1250×1900 1650×1250×1900 2455×1850×2250 2455×1850×2250 2850×1800×2250
Weight(Kg) 1100 1600 1650 2100 2150 2350
Remark 4″ cone =12~15m³/h, 8″cone=30~35m³/h,10″cone=90~120m³/h. It can be configured according to clients’ demand

Drilling Fluid Cleaner Maintenance

Vibration motor maintenance

  1. Clean dust on shell regularly
  2. Before operating, must check the bolts to confirm whether there is loose or not. Otherwise, we must screw bolts tight before running shaker
  3. Inspect the cable, whether there is wear, holds down, crushing, etc.
  4. the vibration motor should be under good lubrication during operation: Motors before fixed on shaker, the bearing is filled with SKF specific lubricate grease, the temperature range is -40 ~ 200℃

shaker screen maintenance

  1. Before every shut off, the shaker should run without any load for 5-10 minutes, at the same time, use clean water to flush screen clean.
  2. Every time finishes operation, the shaker frame and screen should be flushed by water. Pls replace new screen or repair the damaged screen once it is found damage, otherwise large cutting may drop into the clean mud and influence the following process.
  3. Electric cabinet maintenance
  4. wear parts replacement

The user should check and replace the wear parts regularly, except for vibration motor, shaker screen, electric cabinet mentioned above, locking wedge, the composite vibration spring, sealing rubber should be replaced at once.

Aipu Solids Control Drilling Fluid Cleaner Features:

  • Customized design: Cone size and qty can be customized design to reach different mud flow and performance.
  • Large shaker screen area to dry the solids and recycle more fluids. The bottom shaker will work to dry solids out of desander & desilter cone nozzle. The larger shaker deck will help for dry product and smaller shaker deck will save cost.
  • Compact footprint, container shipping suitable
  • Easy maintenance, stainless steel valve on each hydrocyclone can make the replacement of hydrocyclone easier, you do not need to stop whole machine.

Drilling Fluid Mud Cleaner Gallery:

2 Replies to “Drilling Fluid Cleaner”

  1. Dear Mr./Mrs.,

    With regard to mud cleaners I was wandering how a mud cleaner with both desanders and desilters is being used. In the “Drilling Fluid Processing Handbook” this is not something that is explained in further detail other than that desanders come first to avoid desilters being clogged, i.e. “to reduce the loading downstream on desilters – page 269”.
    So even when the mud cleaner is outfitted with desanders and desilters I assume that when such a mud cleaner is used, the desanders are being used first when you start drilling the upper part of the hole (with water-based mud) and that, at some point – when drilling deeper – (and using weighted mud), you swap to the desilters to handle the finer particles. The thing is that, even then, you should use other desanders to make sure that those mud cleaner desilters don’t clog.
    Is my reasoning in sync with reality? …or not?

    One last question: What rationale is being used to purchase a mud cleaner with or desander cyclones, or desilter cyclones or both cyclones? Is this just a matter of money and space-claim? Or else?

    I’m looking forward to your response.

    Very best regards,


    1. 1. There are two centrifugal pumps transmit drilling mud from different tank for cleaner, one for desander unit and one for desilter unit. Turn off the centrifugal pump that work with desander unit when you don’t want the desander unit working. when drilling deeper, drilling mud are just contains smaller particles that don’t need desander and desilter won’t clogged, so just turn off desander unit and lets desilter working is ok.
      2. cleaner is cost less than desander plus desilter, this is primary reason. The other reason? yes , it’s take space smaller than desander plus desilter.

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