The working principle of hydrocyclone (Fig 1.)
A hydrocyclone (often referred to by the shortened form cyclone) is a device to classify, separate or sort particles in a liquid suspension based on the ratio of their centripetal force to fluid resistance.
The ESD hydrocyclone model is based on experimental Amoco Research in which a median cut flint was correlated with a cone Reynold’s number. The cone Reynold’s number is here.
An entire separation curve is extrapolated from the median cut point. A typical separation curve is illustrated in Fig. 2. The wetness of separated solids is a function of the size of the solids as well as the brand and model of the cyclone.
If the feed solids concentration is excessive, the cyclone ropes and solids separation is hindered significantly. If roping continues for a significant length of time, the cones plug and all feed mud exits through the vortex finder.
The cyclone model interacts directly with the centrifugal pump and centrifuge models. The centrifugal pump model feeds mud to the cyclone model. If the pump is too small, the cones funnel and the appropriate amount of feed mud exits the cyclone cones through the underflow openings.
Cyclone outflow, usually the underflow, may be routed to the centrifuge. The motivation for this kind of configuration would be to recover moat of the Liquid usually discarded with the cyclone underflow. In some cases, this configuration uses the cyclones and centrifuge more efficiently than if they were operated separately.