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Vortex Radial Eductor

A uniquely designed, low pressure mud gun to increase fluid movement in mud pits.

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Agitation of drilling mud pits is required for drilling mud maintenance activities such as removing drilled solids, ensuring complete mixing, and maintaining a homogeneous fluid blend throughout the entire surface mud system. To accomplish these functions, agitation equipment must be capable of generating upward velocities in mud pits that are faster than the settling velocity of the solids that are suspended in the drilling mud. It must also be capable of creating enough shearing and stirring action to completely dissolve, wet, and disperse drilling mud additives.

Most commonly, mud pit agitation has been achieved using mechanical, paddle agitators. While they are effective, mechanical agitators are expensive, large, and heavy. They often require electricity, regular maintenance, additional support structure, and create dead spots in the mud pits where settling can occur. The alternative means of agitation are commonly referred to as mud guns. A typical mud gun can be as simple as a concentric nozzle mounted inside of a mud pit, through which drilling mud is recirculated using a centrifugal pump. They are usually classified as either high pressure or low pressure and have several advantages over mechanical agitators. Two of the main advantages of mud guns are that they are considerably lower cost and have a much smaller footprint.

The Alfa Laval Vortex Radial Eductor is a unique style of low pressure mud gun that employs a patented design to achieve up to four times the total fluid movement and upward velocity in drilling mud pits than common mud guns or nozzles. It can be used as the primary means of pit agitation, or as a complement to an existing mechanical agitator, to eliminate dead spots which commonly occur in the corners of mud pits.

Basic equipment

The Alfa Laval Vortex Radial Eductor consists of a uniquely designed body molded from high density, abrasion resistant polyurethane. A stainless steel female NPT connection is fused to the polyurethane body during the molding process.  In a typical application, one or several eductors are mounted on a piping manifold system inside of a pit or vessel. The number and size of eductors required for a specific application is dependent on the vessel size and the necessary agitation rate, sometimes referred to as turnover rate or TOR.

Additional equipment

• Feed pump

  • Simple, robust design, no moving parts
  • Low maintenance
  • Low cost alternative to mechanical paddle agitators
  • Compact design
  • Constructed of urethane, highly abrasion and chemical resistant
  • Energized with centrifugal pump

How it works

The eductor operates on the Bernoulli Principle. This principle states that high velocity equals low pressure, and vice-versa. It consists of a tapered, nozzle housed inside of a specially designed body. Fluid is pumped through the nozzle and the low pressure area generated inside the eductor body around the high velocity nozzle discharge draws surrounding fluid in helical shaped suction ports. The fluid is then rapidly mixed inside a venturi section and discharged into the vessel or pit at a much higher rate than a standard jet nozzle can attain.

The helical shape of the eductor suction ports is unique to its patented design, and creates a radially flowing discharge plume. The rotational energy of this plume resembles a tornado or vortex, which is more stable, gains broader coverage, dynamically shears the fluidand creates a lower pressure region within the fluid that “picks-up” and displaces a much greater volume of the surrounding fluid than a plume from a standard mud gun. The result is much greater fluid displacement and movement within a vessel.

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