1. n. [Drilling Fluids]
An item of solids-control equipment consisting of an inverted cone, the mud being fed tangentially into the upper (larger diameter) part. The resulting spinning effect forces solids to the wall of the device and they exit from the bottom (apex) of the cone, while the cleaned liquid exits at the top. Hydrocyclones are classified by the size of the cone as either desanders (typically 12 inches in diameter) or desilters (4 to 6 inches in diameter) and will separate particles in the medium-, fine- and ultrafine-size ranges. The efficiency of hydrocyclones is poor in viscous weighted muds and many units are being replaced by more efficient, high-speed shakers.