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Shale shakers are components of drilling equipment used in many industries, such as coal cleaning, mining, oil and gas drilling. They are the first phase of a solids control system on a drilling rig, and are used to remove large solids (cuttings) from the drilling fluid ("mud").
Shale shakers are the primary solids separation tool on a rig. After returning to the surface of the well the used drilling fluid flows directly to the shale shakers where it begins to be processed. Once processed by the shale shakers the drilling fluid is deposited into the mud tanks where other solid control equipment begin to remove the finer solids from it. The solids removed by the shale shaker are discharged out of the discharge port into a separate holding tank where they await further treatment or disposal.
Shakers act by removing solids from drilling fluid as the mud passes over the surface of a vibrating screen. Particles smaller than the openings in the screen pass through the holes of the screen along with the liquid phase of the mud