A hydrocyclone device that removes large drill solids from the whole mud system. The desander should be located downstream of the shale shakers and degassers, but before the desilters or mud cleaners.
A volume of mud is pumped into the wide upper section of the hydrocylone at an angle roughly tangent to its circumference. As the mud flows around and gradually down the inside of the cone shape, solids are separated from the liquid by centrifugal forces. The solids continue around and down until they exit the bottom of the hydrocyclone (along with small amounts of liquid) and are discarded. The cleaner and lighter density liquid mud travels up through a vortex in the center of the hydrocyclone, exits through piping at the top of the hydrocyclone and is then routed to the mud tanks and the next mud-cleaning device, usually a desilter. Various size desander and desilter cones are functionally identical, with the size of the cone determining the size of particles the device removes from the mud system.