Basic Knowledge of Mud Pumps VDO Training

Mud pump is one of the most critical equipment on the rig; therefore personnel on the rig must have good understanding about it. We’ve tried to find the good training about it but it is very difficult to find until we’ve seen this VDO training and it is a fantastic VDO training about the basic of mud pumps used in the oilfield. Total length of this VDO is about thirteen minutes and it is worth to watch it. You will learn about it so quickly. Additionally, we also add the full detailed transcripts which will acceleate the learning curve of learners.

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Transcript for this VDO for learning purposes

Powerful mud pumps pick up mud from the suction tank and circulate the mud down hole, out the bit and back to the surface. Although rigs usually have two mud pumps and sometimes three or four, normally they use only one at a time. The others are mainly used as backup just in case one fails. Sometimes however the rig crew may compound the pumps, that is, they may use three or four pumps at the same time to move large volumes of mud when required.

Basic Knowledge of Mud Pumps VDO Training

Rigs use one of two types of mud pumps, Triplex pumps or Duplex pumps. Triplex pumps have three pistons that move back-and-forth in liners. Duplex pumps have two pistons move back and forth in liners.

Triplex pumps have many advantages they weight 30% less than a duplex of equal horsepower or kilowatts. The lighter weight parts are easier to handle and therefore easier to maintain. The other advantages include;

• They cost less to operate

• They are fluid end is more accessible and

• They discharge mud more smoothly. That is, the triplex’s output does not surge as much as a duplex.

• One of the more important advantages of triplex over duplex pumps, is that they can move large volumes of mud at the higher pressure is required for modern deep hole drilling.

Triplex pumps are gradually phasing out duplex units. In a triplex pump, the pistons discharge mud only when they move forward in the liner. Then, when they moved back they draw in mud on the same side of the piston. Because of this, they are also called “single acting.” Single acting triplex pumps, pump mud at a relatively high speeds. Input horsepower ranges from 220 to 2200 or 164 to 1641 kW. Large pumps can pump over 1100 gallons per minute, over 4000 L per minute. Some big pumps have a maximum rated pressure of over 7000 psi over 50,000 kPa with 5 inch/127 mm liners.

Here is a schematic of a triplex pump. It has three pistons each moving in its own liner. It also has three intake valves and three discharge valves. It also has a pulsation dampener in the discharge line.

Look at the piston at left, it has just completed pushing mud out of the liner through the open discharge valve. The piston is at its maximum point of forward travel. The other two pistons are at other positions in their travel and are also pumping mud. But for now, concentrate on the left one to understand how the pump works. The left piston has completed its backstroke drawing in mud through the open intake valve. As the piston moved back it instead of the intake valve off its seat and drew mud in. A strong spring holds the discharge above closed. The left piston has moved forward pushing mud through the now open discharge valve. A strong spring holds the intake valve closed. They left piston has completed its forward stroke they form the length of the liner completely discharging the mud from it. All three pistons work together to keep a continuous flow of mud coming into and out of the pump.

Crewmembers can change the liners and pistons. Not only can they replace worn out ones, they can also install different sizes. Generally they use large liners and pistons when the pump needs to move large volumes of mud at relatively low pressure. They use a small liners and pistons when the pump needs to move smaller volumes of mud at a relatively high pressure.

In a duplex pump, pistons discharge mud on one side of the piston and at the same time, take in mud on the other side. Notice the top piston and the liner. As the piston moves forward, it discharges mud on one side as it draws in mud on the other then as it moves back, it discharges mud on the other side and draws in mud on the side it at had earlier discharge it. Duplex pumps are therefore double acting.

Double acting pumps move more mud on a single stroke than a triplex. However, because of they are double acting they have a seal around the piston rod. This seal keeps them from moving as fast as a triplex. Input horsepower ranges from 190 to 1790 hp or from 142 to 1335 kW. The largest pumps maximum rated working pressure is about 5000 psi, almost 35,000 kPa with 6 inch/152 mm linings.

A mud pump has a fluid end, our end and intake and the discharge valves. The fluid end of the pump contains the pistons with liners which take in or discharge the fluid or mud. The pump pistons draw in mud through the intake valves and push mud out through the discharge valves.

The power end houses the large crankshaft and gear assembly that moves the piston assemblies on the fluid end. Pumps are powered by a pump motor. Large modern diesel/electric rigs use powerful electric motors to drive the pump. Mechanical rigs use chain drives or power bands (belts) from the rig’s engines and compounds to drive the pump.

A pulsation dampener connected to the pump’s discharge line smooths out surges created by the pistons as they discharge mud. This is a standard bladder type dampener. The bladder and the dampener body, separates pressurized nitrogen gas above from mud below. The bladder is made from synthetic rubber and is flexible. When mud discharge pressure presses against the bottom of the bladder, nitrogen pressure above the bladder resists it. This resistance smoothes out the surges of mud leaving the pump.

Here is the latest type of pulsation dampener, it does not have a bladder. It is a sphere about 4 feet or 1.2 m in diameter. It is built into the mud pump’s discharge line. The large chamber is form of mud. It has no moving parts so it does not need maintenance. The mud in the large volume sphere, absorbs this surges of mud leaving the pump.

A suction dampener smooths out the flow of mud entering into the pump. Crewmembers mount it on the triplex mud pump’s suction line. Inside the steel chamber is a air charged rubber bladder or diaphragm. The crew charges of the bladder about 10 to 15 psi/50 to 100 kPa. The suction dampener absorbs surges in the mud pump’s suction line caused by the fast-moving pump pistons. The pistons, constantly starts and stops the mud’s flow through the pump. At the other end of the charging line a suction pumps sends a smooth flow of mud to the pump’s intake. When the smooth flow meets the surging flow, the impact is absorbed by the dampener.

Workers always install a discharge pressure relief valve. They install it on the pump’s discharge side in or near the discharge line. If for some reason too much pressure builds up in the discharge line, perhaps the drill bit or annulus gets plugged, the relief valve opens. That opened above protects the mud pump and system damage from over pressure.

Some rig owners install a suction line relief valve. They install it on top of the suction line near the suction dampener. They mount it on top so that it won’t clog up with mud when the system is shut down. A suction relief valve protects the charging pump and the suction line dampener. A suction relief valve usually has a 2 inch or 50 mm seat opening. The installer normally adjusts it to 70 psi or 500 kPa relieving pressure. If both the suction and the discharged valves failed on the same side of the pump, high back flow or a pressure surge would occur. The high backflow could damage the charging pump or the suction line dampener. The discharge line is a high-pressure line through which the pump moves mud. From the discharge line, the mud goes through the stand pipe and rotary hose to the drill string equipment.

Related article: Basic Understanding About Positive Displacement Mud Pumps in Drilling Industry

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5 Responses to Basic Knowledge of Mud Pumps VDO Training

  1. Nguyen Danh Thanh says:

    your information is so useful
    can you give me the autocad drawings of power end and fluid end of triplex pump !
    W2215 is so better
    i’m also wondering why don’t we make a pump with many liner

  2. tidalwave says:

    so how do i calculate my flowrate, if i know the pump output in bbl/stk?

  3. Kathy says:

    Thank you sharing this excellent information about mud pumps. I’m creating a presentation about our pump stroke counters, and I needed to know how a pump stroke counter works. You provided me with an easy-to-understand who, what, where, when, why and how, and that’s exactly what I needed to share with my customers.

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