Shale shakers remove large solids (typically larger than 75 microns) from drilling fluid. (Drilling fluid is also known as drilling mud due to its turbid appearance.) Drilling fluids lubricate and cool the drill bit and are therefore integral to any drilling process. Because fluids are expensive to produce, shale shakers improve a rig’s economy by stripping away cuttings for disposal before recycling the fluid.

drilling fluid

Shale shakers are intensive vibrating devices. At the first stage of mud separation, they utilize a motor to generate vibrations. Acting as a sieve, the vibrating action pushes the drilling mud through a wire cloth screen. Drilling mud that filters through the shaker screen is moved into a mud tank for additional processing if necessary. Larger solids pass over the screen surface and are discharged for later collection and disposal.

shale shaker

Linear motion shale shakers represent the newest shaker technology and are the most common approach to solids control in the oil and gas drilling industries. They produce linear motion via a pair of eccentric shafts rotating in opposite directions. Linear motion provides superior cuttings conveyance and is able to operate at an uphill slope to provide improved liquid retention.

Shale shakers consist of vibrating sieves or screens which use force to advance the filtered mud through to the mud tank. During operation the inclination of the screen varies proportional to the flow rate of mud.

 

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