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A mud pump or drilling pump is used to circulate drilling mud (also referred to as drilling fluid) downhole during drilling operations. The drilling mud is pumped downhole at pressures up to 7500 PSI through the drill string. It returns back to the surface via the well’s annulus.

This drilling mud circulation process performs numerous critical functions which include cooling the drill bit and cleaning the wellbore of drill cuttings. It also provides hydrostatic pressure to prevent formation fluids from entering into the wellbore. Considering this necessary pumping function, drilling pumps are often referred to as the heart of the rig. 

What is a mud pump?

Mud pumps are typically positive displacement, reciprocating pumps that are comprised of a power end and fluid end assembly. A diesel engine or electric motor commonly serves as the mud pump power source. These “mud pump packages” are typically skid mounted for easy mobility.

The power end converts the rotation of the driveshaft to a reciprocating motion by using a crosshead assembly. The fluid end utilizes this reciprocating action to achieve the function of pumping the pressurized mud.

The fluid end assembly is comprised of a suction and discharge module, manifolds, pistons, liners and valve assemblies. Most of the fluid end assembly components are high-wear items. Many pumps are designed to allow quick replacement of these parts. 

A drilling pump should be able to provide a constant flow rate of fluid at a specific pressure. Over the past century, numerous mud pump design configurations have been introduced. But the most common designs on the market today are duplex, triplex, and quintuplex models. The designs have horsepower ratings from 750 – 2400 HP.

 

Cast Frames for Mud Pumps

Gardner Denver is the only pump manufacturer that uses a cast frame rather than a welded, fabricated frame. Due to the high durability of the cast frame, many Gardner Denver pumps continue to operate trouble-free after decades of service. Gardner Denver cast frames are unbendable, remain in alignment, and can be reused again with new bearings and gear end componentry.

Gardner Denver mud pumps typically operate for five to seven years before there is a need to overhaul the pump. However, mud pumps produced with inferior, fabricated frames will commonly need a full pump replacement within five to seven years. This is due to having a weak, misaligned, and/or cracked frame.

Unlike other manufacturers that require alignment shims, Gardner Denver frames do not have such a requirement. This is due to the rigidity of our frame and our tight manufacturing tolerances. In addition to manufacturing precision, Gardner Denver has the lightest weight and smallest footprint by horsepower class. Our compact, powerful pumps allow for improved mobility and reduced skid size. 

 

Mud Pump Gears

Gardner Denver mud pump gearing has been engineered to withstand the operational stresses the pump experiences at peak rod load. To increase strength and combat gear fatigue, Gardner Denver uses a special hardening process on our gear components. This hardening process mitigates the chance of gear teeth cracking or breaking when subjected to high rod load stress. 

In addition to hardening, Gardner Denver gear teeth are longer than competing designs. This additional length provides increased gear-engagement during pump operation which ultimately reduces gear wear.

Since inventing the drilling pump in the 1920’s, Gardner Denver has continued to introduce innovative mud pump designs. Our drilling pump products are designed for maximum and reliable performance. Our goal is to enable our customers to conduct their drilling operations safely and efficiently.

 

Fluid Ends for Mud Pumps

To complement our robust mud pump power end frames, all Gardner Denver fluid ends are made with high-grade alloy steel. They go through a thorough engineering design process that utilizes a variety of engineering software technology including ‘Finite Element Analysis’ (FEA).

With FEA, Gardner Denver engineers simulate fluid end operation and identify any areas of high-stress concentration within the fluid end. Then, our engineers will make design improvements to reduce these stresses which improves the performance life of the fluid end.

Gardner Denver is proud to offer a variety of 5000 PSI and 7500 PSI fluid end designs. Some include the Valve-Over-Valve, 2-Piece L-Shaped, and our patented 2-piece Y-shape fluid-end modules.

 

Mud Pump Consumables

Keeping your mud pump operating safely and efficiently is our top priority. Gardner Denver’s Redline mud pump consumables include pistons, liners and valve assemblies. They are engineered to withstand the demands of today’s high-pressure, high-temperature drilling operations.

Our mud pump pistons and valves are made from the latest polymer technology for maximum abrasion and chemical resistance. They are compatible with both oil and water-based drilling fluids. Our pistons are available in standard sizes 5 – 7 inches while our valve assemblies conform to API 6, API 7, and API 8 specifications.

Our mud pump consumables portfolio would not be complete without our Redline mud pump liners. Available in both Chrome and Zirconia, our Gardner Denver liners are held to a higher manufacturing specification than other competing liners. This tight manufacturing specification ensures that our Redline liners are completely concentric which aids in extending piston life and preventing leakage.

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