When we talk about the essential part of the drilling equipment, then the shale shaker cannot be ignored. Undoubtedly it helps separate drilling liquid like mud from the solids; it is also known as cutting. When it comes to shale shakers, the shale shaker screen is an essential part as they help in effectively separating the liquids from the solids by effectively utilizing drilling fluid. In this article, we will be discussing the importance of replacing your shaker screen and how it can help you. But before we move on, let’s understand the hits and bytes of the shale shaker screen.
A Shale shaker screen is a web screen that is usually made out of woven metal inserted inside the shale shaker for effective separation. Whenever a solid or cuttings are spawned through the drilling equipment, they are jolted over the screen of the shale shaker. After this, all the solid particles are then captured. Replacement shaker screens are capable of fitting different types of shale shakers.
The Shaker screen comes with different parts which contribute to different functions. Some of them are listed below:
Screen Frame – The main screen is extended on the frame precisely like a canvas. It is built up of different materials like flat steel sheets, plastic-style composite, and several others. In addition, the frame is divided into distinctive inner panels of different shapes. The panels can be of any shape ranging from triangle, hexagon, square, or rectangle. The function of the panels is to provide effective support to the mesh attached to them. The primary goal is to maximize the screen surface available for working and minimize the panel area.
Screen Mesh – A screen mesh is created by weaving an extremely thin metal wire. Although it is thin, it is comparatively strong. In order to maximize the conductance of the screen mesh, usually the metal is woven with a rectangular opening which ideally reduces the amount of material used in the way. However, the screen is built by fixing multiple layers of screen mesh that help in maximizing the screen life. These multiple layers are helpful in tracking even the finest particles and keep the screen surface clean and available for a longer time.
Binding Agent – Binding agent is defined as the substance which is used to bind the mesh to the screen frame. It aids in maximum adhesion to both mesh and screen simultaneously. The characteristic feature of this binding agent is it is capable of handling strong vibrations, abrasive cuttings, high heat, and corrosive drilling fluids.
When it comes to shaker screens, there are wide arrays of screens available. The different shaker screens used are–
Flat Screen –Flat screen is most widely used in Derrick shaker screens because of its cost-effectiveness and traditional values. The screen panel of the flat screen shaker screen is made up of three layers of stainless steel, which is further bonded to a steel support plate.
Pyramid Screen – The pyramid screen is commonly used in the Derrick shaker screen. However, its cost is higher and is made up of advanced screening technology that helps in increasing the handling capacity of the fluids. In addition, it also maximizes the screening performance. Furthermore, it provides a larger screen area for maximum functionality as compared to a flat screen.
Metal Framed Screen – Metal framed screens as framed in metals, as the name suggests, and they are widely used across. The primary advantage of these screens is that they allow the operators to swing motions on the fly as the drilling conditions require them accordingly. In addition, the screen is effective in separating the solids from the drilling equipment.
Composite Screens – Composite screens are usually constructed with a composite material with additional steel reinforcement. As a result, they have enhanced quality, delamination resistance, handling qualities, shelf life, and performance.
Hook Strip Screens – Hook strip screens are quite unique due to their features and the assurance they provide. They are constructed with three stainless steel layers of steel bonded to a steel support plank that provides the necessary support. In addition, rubber plugs are immersed into the rips of the screen, which helps to reduce production costs.
Shale shaker does not only come with a single benefit but has a list of them. Certain wear and tear can minimize productivity and alter work. Here’s why you should replace your shaker screen.
Enhanced Shaker Capability – Shaker screens are known to maximize the total area of the usable API, which is the non-blanked screen area. This significantly helps in increasing the usable amount of screen area, which results in an enhanced fluid handling capacity. In addition, more working area allows a better flow of work.
Fine Separations – Fine separations become an important factor when it comes to shale shaker screens. A broken or damaged screen can alter the quality of separation, therefore improving permeability, vibration, and gravity. This further allows more fluid to pass through the top portion of the screen as shaker screens have the capability to make fine separations– as fine as 40 microns.
Shaker screens come with multiple advantages. Not only are they cost-effective, but they also fit the checklist of an ideal machine in the industry. Some of the advantages are as follows:
Replaceable – the best part of the shaker screen is that it can be easily replaced. It can fit almost all types of shakers available for effective use of the prevailing equipment. Since you do not have to replace the original shaker machine, it saves you a lot of money and turns out to be cost-effective.
Drier Cuttings – Shaker screens have the capability to minimize the loss of fluid by quickly drying the screen. This happens by spreading the thinner layers of fluid over an enhanced area of the screen, which enables the shakers to possibly screen 1 to 2 API-sized particles, which ideally maximizes efficiency and time.
When you are using a shaker screen, you should keep in mind some of the possible precautions:
Until and unless there is a specific drilling fluid requirement, it is always advisable to use the finest screen available or possible without incurring mud carryover with the shaker. In addition, remember to keep the shaker in an optimum set-up condition, that is, to counter-check the angle, pool, and depth to avoid any ineffectiveness.
One of the most important care you should take while using a shale shaker is to avoid using damaged screens. Any hole or tear that occurs on the screen can be an open invitation to shaker damage. Instead, try repairing or, most probably, replacing the worn-out screen at the first opportunity.
Effective cleaning is an essential part of the long life of your shaker screen. Whenever you are cleaning your shaker’s screen, avoid brushes or any sticks. Instead, try using appropriate cleaning solutions that will help in the effective cleaning of the screen. In addition, always avoid using oil or synthetic mud.
Since Shale shakers are the ideal defense against solids, the screens are the primary part of the operation, so never store, handle or transport them inappropriately, as it will beat the entire point of the shale shaker.
By-passing the shaker can be the worst thing you can do. Therefore it is always advisable to only bypass your shaker if there is an emergency.
Maintaining your shaker is an ideal part of its smooth functioning. Ensure that all the components of your shaker are in good condition, be it rubber support, tensioning mounts, etc. always try to run the same mesh screen across the shaker. Always inspect if there is any damage and clean the screen with the required fluid using a scraper or brushes to remove clear solids.
Whenever you observe any sign of holes in the screen of your shaker, try replacing it immediately. Tolerating it can reduce the effectiveness of your shaker. Furthermore, always repair your shaker’s screen with the designated compound. For synthetic and oil-based mud, you should use epoxy resin. Repair is only advisable until the mesh area lost is 10% after this stage; discarding is the only option.
The shale shaker is ideally the first stage, also known as the baby step of solid control equipment in the drilling purification system. The Shale shaker screen helps in the effective functioning of the shaker. Ideally, it is always advisable to take proper care and replace the shaker screen if found damaged. By now, you might have gathered useful insights as to why replacing a shale shaker screen can benefit you.