A hydrocyclone, in the context of drilling fluid, is a part of the solids control equipment used in the processing and recirculation of drilling mud. The device converts the pressure generated by a centrifugal pump into centrifugal force, allowing the suspended solids in the drilling mud to separate from the fluid. The centrifugal action increases the gravitational force and separates the solids from the fluid by discharging it from the lower side of the hydrocyclone.
Trenchlesspedia Explains Hydrocyclone
The hydrocyclone consists of a cylindrical chamber connected to a conical body with a bottom outlet at its apex that discharges the heavier particles. The mud enters the upper part tangentially and results in a spinning effect that forces the solids to the wall of the unit and expels them from the bottom while the cleaner drilling fluid exits from the top.
Hydrocyclone separation involves the use of centrifugal force at high speed. It spirally extrudes suspended particles in the slurry through the overflow outlet, by the negative pressure produced by spinning. The heavier particles pass through the underflow outlet as they fall due to gravity. This cleaning process separates the disposable solid particles from the slurry and makes the drilling fluid reusable. Hydrocylones can be either desanders or desilters and separate particles in the medium, fine or ultra-fine size range.