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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 7500psi through the drill string, and 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, cleaning the well bore of drill cuttings and providing hydrostatic pressure to prevent formation fluids from entering into the well bore.  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 and these “mud pump packages” are typically skid mounted for easy mobility.  The power-end converts the rotation of the drive shaft to a reciprocating motion by using a crosshead assembly while 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.  Many of the fluid-end assembly components are high-wear items so many pumps are designed to allow quick replacement of these parts.   A key and necessary feature of a drilling pump is its ability 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.

Since inventing the drilling pump in 1920’s, Gardner Denver has continued to introduce innovative mud pump designs over the past century. Our drilling pump products are designed for maximum performance and reliability, which enables our customer conduct their drilling operations safe and efficiently.