Title:
Shale shakers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shale shaker or vibratory separator which, in one aspect, has a base, vibration isolation apparatus on the base, a basket, mount apparatus for mounting the basket on the base, and at least one of the base, basket, and the mount apparatus made of, encased in, or coated with composite material which, in certain aspects, is all or part flexible composite material; and methods of using such separators and shakers.



Inventors:
Grichar, Charles Newton (Houston, TX, US)
Seyffert, Kenneth Wayne (Houston, TX, US)
Guy III, Mcclung L. (Spring, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/134027
Publication Date:
10/30/2003
Filing Date:
04/26/2002
Assignee:
GRICHAR CHARLES NEWTON
SEYFFERT KENNETH WAYNE
MCCLUNG GUY L.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
210/384
International Classes:
B01D33/03; B07B1/46; (IPC1-7): B01D33/03
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PHAM, MINH CHAU THI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Guy McClung (16690 Champion Forest Drive, Spring, TX, 77379-7023, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A shale shaker comprising a base, vibration isolation apparatus on said base, a basket, mount apparatus for mounting said basket on said base, and at least one of said base, said basket, and said mount apparatus made of composite material.

2. The shale shaker of claim 1 wherein the composite material is non-metal composite material.

3. The shale shaker of claim 1 wherein the composite material includes at least a portion thereof made of flexible composite material.

4. The shale shaker of claim 1 wherein the composite material includes at least one reinforcing part within the composite material.

5. The shale shaker of claim 4 wherein the reinforcing part is made of metal.

6. The shale shaker of claim 4 wherein the reinforcing part is made of material from the group consisting of wood, plastic, fiber, and composite material.

7. The shale shaker of claim 1 further comprising electronic tracking apparatus on the shale shaker.

8. The shale shaker of claim 1 further comprising the basket having a plurality of interconnected walls, said walls connected by electromagnetic welding.

9. The shale shaker of claim 1 wherein the shale shaker has a screen support apparatus and vibratory apparatus for vibrating the screen support apparatus, and isolation apparatus for isolating the screen support apparatus to inhibit vibrations vibrating the screen apparatus from vibrating objects other than the screen support apparatus and the screen apparatus.

10. The shale shaker of claim 9 further comprising mounting apparatus to which is mounted the isolation apparatus, the mounting apparatus made from composite material.

11. The shale shaker of claim 10 wherein the mounting apparatus includes at least a portion made from flexible composite material.

12. The shale shaker of claim 11 wherein the at least a portion made from flexible composite material is a plurality of spaced-apart amounts of flexible composite material.

13. The shale shaker of claim 10 wherein the mounting apparatus is made from flexible composite material.

14. The shale shaker of claim 9 wherein the isolation apparatus is a plurality of spaced-apart isolation apparatuses.

15. The shale shaker of claim 9 wherein the isolation apparatus is from the group consisting of springs, resilient members, cushions, flexible hollow members, and inflatable members.

16. The shale shaker of claim 15 wherein the isolation apparatus is coated with composite material.

17. The shale shaker of claim 15 wherein the isolation apparatus is encased in composite material.

18. The shale shaker of claim 9 further comprising mounting apparatus to which is mounted the isolation apparatus, the mounting apparatus coated with composite material.

19. The shale shaker of claim 9 further comprising mounting apparatus to which is mounted the isolation apparatus, the mounting apparatus encased in composite material.

20. The shale shaker of claim 1 wherein the basket includes a plurality of interconnected walls.

21. A shale shaker comprising a base, vibration isolation apparatus on said base, a basket, mount apparatus for mounting said basket on said base, and at least one of said base, said basket, and said mount apparatus encased in composite material.

22. A shale shaker comprising a base, vibration isolation apparatus on said base, a basket, mount apparatus for mounting said basket on said base, and at least one of said base, said basket, and said mount apparatus coated with composite material.

23. The shale shaker of claim 1 wherein the shale shaker is for treating fluid introduced thereto, the fluid to be treated comprising fluid with drilled cuttings therein.

24. The shale shaker of claim of claim 1 wherein the shale shaker is for treating fluid introduced thereto, the fluid to be treated including lost circulation material.

25. The shale shaker of claim 24 wherein the lost circulation material includes fibrous lost circulation material.

26. A method for treated fluid with a shale shaker, the method comprising introducing fluid to be treated to the shale shaker, the shale shaker having a base, vibration isolation apparatus on said base, a basket, mount apparatus for mounting said basket on said base, and at least one of said base, said basket, and said mount apparatus made of, encased in or coated with composite material, and processing said fluid through the shale shaker.

27. The method of claim 26 wherein said fluid includes drilled cuttings.

28. The method of claim 26 wherein said fluid includes lost circulation material.

29. The method of claim 26 wherein said composite material includes at least a portion thereof that is flexible composite material.

30. Any invention disclosed herein.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention is directed to vibratory separators and, in certain particular aspects, to shale shakers and to shale shakers with structural members made of composite material.

[0003] 2. Description of Related Art

[0004] Many typical vibratory separators and shale shakers have a container, carrier, housing, or basket to which is secured one or more screens used for separating components of material fed to the vibratory separator or shale shaker. Vibrating apparatus connected to the container, etc. vibrates the container, etc. and the vibrations are imparted to the screen or screens secured to the container, etc.

[0005] Typically it is desirable to maximize vibration of the screen(s) while isolating equipment, objects, and structures adjacent the vibratory separator from the intense vibrations produced by the vibrating apparatus. Such isolation is effected by using springs, rubber or rubber-like or resilient members or cushions, isolator apparatus, and shock absorbers on which the container or basket is mounted.

[0006] In many vibratory separators and shale shakers parts of the machine are made of steel, e.g. the container basket, housings for vibrating apparatus, vibration isolating springs, and spring mounts. In many environments in which vibratory separators and shale shakers are used, these steel parts are subjected to harsh conditions that result in wear, erosion, rust, and corrosion of the steel. Often shale shakers are used offshore on rigs over salt water. Both the salt environment and the chemicals in drilling fluids processed by the shale shakers can contribute to the deterioration of steel parts.

[0007] In the past parts of screen assemblies and decks for such screens have been made of composite materials; but no prior art suggests that parts of a shale shaker such as the basket, base, or spring mounts be made of composite material, nor does any prior art provide the motivation to do so.

[0008] There has long been a need, recognized by the present inventors, for a vibratory separator and shale shaker with a basket, base, and/or spring mount which resists wear, rust and corrosion. There has long been a need for such machines whose internal vibration can be maximized while effectively isolating objects adjacent the machines from the vibrations. There has long been a need for such machines which are: more cost-effective; relatively lighter in weight and easy to transport either assembled or unassembled; able to withstand material fatigue due to vibration; and/or which are easily repaired.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0009] The present invention, in certain embodiments, provides a vibratory separator or shale shaker in which a basket, base, and/or spring mount is made of composite material or of metal encased in and/or coated with composite material.

[0010] In certain aspects, the present invention discloses vibratory separators and shale shakers with some parts and components made of composites which are shipped and transported to a job site and assembled at the site. In certain particular aspects, parts are adhesively bonded together or welded together. In one particular aspect parts made of particular types of composite are electromagnetically welded together either at a manufacturing facility or at a job site, e.g., at a drilling rig.

[0011] In certain embodiments, the present invention discloses vibratory separators and shale shakers in which composite (in one aspect relatively flexible composite) material is used in spring mounts to enhance the vibration isolation accomplished by the spring mounts. Walls and/or sides of a basket of a shaker can, according to the present invention, be made of composite material or can have areas made of such composite material (which in one aspect is relatively flexible composite) as can spring mounting brackets or parts.

[0012] Separators and shakers according to the present invention are useful for treating drilling fluid with drilled cuttings and/or with lost circulation material therein, which, in one aspect, includes fibrous lost circulation material and which may be, but is not limited to, any lost circulation material disclosed in or referred to in pending U.S. application Ser. No. 09/975,075 filed Oct. 11, 2001 and co-owned with the present invention and incorporated fully herein for all purposes.

[0013] What follows are some of, but not all, the objects of this invention. In addition to the specific objects stated below for at least certain preferred embodiments of the invention, other objects and purposes will be readily apparent to one of skill in this art who has the benefit of this invention's teachings and disclosures.

[0014] It is, therefore, an object of at least certain preferred embodiments of the present invention to provide new, useful, unique, efficient, nonobvious vibratory separators and shale shakers in which baskets, bases, and/or vibration isolator mounts, are made of composite material, of metal encased in composite material, and/or of metal coated with composite material;

[0015] Such machines in which the screen(s) used for separating material components are effectively vibrated while objects adjacent the machines are not detrimentally vibrated or such vibration is reduced by employing isolator apparatus parts, components and structural members made of composite material and, in one particular aspect, such parts, etc. made of relatively flexible composite material;

[0016] Such machines that are transportable unassembled and are easily assembled at a job site;

[0017] Such machines with such parts that are easily repaired;

[0018] Such machines useful for treating drilling fluid with drilled cuttings and/or with lost circulation material therein, which, in one aspect, includes fibrous lost circulation material; and

[0019] Methods for using such machines.

[0020] Certain embodiments of this invention are not limited to any particular individual feature disclosed here, but include combinations of them distinguished from the prior art in their structures and functions. Features of the invention have been broadly described so that the detailed descriptions that follow may be better understood, and in order that the contributions of this invention to the arts may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional aspects of the invention described below and which may be included in the subject matter of the claims to this invention. Those skilled in the art who have the benefit of this invention, its teachings, and suggestions will appreciate that the conceptions of this disclosure may be used as a creative basis for designing other structures, methods and systems for carrying out and practicing the present invention. The claims of this invention are to be read to include any legally equivalent devices or methods which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0021] The present invention recognizes and addresses the previously-mentioned problems and long-felt needs and provides a solution to those problems and a satisfactory meeting of those needs in its various possible embodiments and equivalents thereof. To one skilled in this art who has the benefits of this invention's realizations, teachings, disclosures, and suggestions, other purposes and advantages will be appreciated from the following description of preferred embodiments, given for the purpose of disclosure, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. The detail in these descriptions is not intended to thwart this patent's object to claim this invention no matter how others may later disguise it by variations in form or additions of further improvements.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0022] A more particular description of embodiments of the invention briefly summarized above may be had by references to the embodiments which are shown in the drawings which form a part of this specification. This drawings illustrate certain preferred embodiments and are not to be used to improperly limit the scope of the invention which may have other equally effective or legally equivalent embodiments.

[0023] FIG. 1 is a side view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. FIG. 2 is a top view and FIG. 3 is an end view of the shale shaker of FIG. 1.

[0024] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a shale shaker according to the present invention.

[0025] FIG. 5 is a side view of a shale shaker according to the present invention.

[0026] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a vibratory separator according to the present invention.

[0027] FIG. 7 is a side view of a vibratory separator according to the present invention. FIG. 8 is a top view of the separator of FIG. 7. FIG. 9 is a view along line 9-9 of FIG. 7.

[0028] FIG. 10 is a side view of a side according to the present invention for a vibratory separator or shale shaker.

[0029] FIG. 11 is an end view of a shale shaker according to the present invention.

[0030] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a shale shaker according to the present invention.

[0031] FIG. 13A is a top view of a structural member for a shale shaker according to the present invention. FIG. 13B is a side crosssection view of the member of FIG. 13A.

[0032] FIGS. 14-16 are side crosssection views of parts of shale shakers according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS PREFERRED AT THE TIME OF FILING FOR THIS PATENT

[0033] FIGS. 1-3 show a shale shaker 10 according to the present invention which has a screen-mounting basket 12 and a bridge 14 on which are mounted two vibrating apparatuses 20. The basket 12 has brackets 16 to which are secured helical springs 18. Each spring 18 is secured to a base member 22. As shown in FIG. 3, an optional housing 24 may be used on sides of and beneath the shale shaker 10. Optionally (and as may be the case with any shale shaker disclosed herein according to the present invention or with any known prior art shaker or vibratory separator) an electronic tracking apparatus 29 is on the housing 24, but may, according to the present invention, be within any suitable member or part of a shale shaker; and, optionally, such a tracking apparatus has a container or housing made of composite material and/or is encased within or coated with composite material. Any known tracking device, apparatus, or system may be used, including, but not limited to known satellite tracking systems.

[0034] The brackets 16 are made, preferably, of composite material, as are the base members 22 and the housing 24. Optionally, the basket 12 (side walls 12a, 12b; ends 12c, 12d) is made of composite material. Alternatively one, some, or all of these components are made of steel encased in composite or steel coated with composite. A coating of composite may have the thickness of a layer of paint or of two, three, four or more layers of paint. A shale shaker similar to the shale shaker 10, but with no teaching, motivation, or suggestion of using such composite material for a shale shaker or parts of it, is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,155,428 incorporated fully herein for all purposes.

[0035] FIG. 4 shows a shale shaker 30 according to the present invention which has screen apparatus 33 mounted in a basket 32. Between basket mount members 37 and mount members 35 on a frame 36 are mounted springs 34 for isolating vibration of the shale shaker 30. Vibrating apparatus 38 vibrates the basket 32 to vibrate the screen apparatus 33. Elevator apparatus 31 provides for raising and lowering of the basket end. Posts 39 secured to the basket 32 extend through corresponding holes in the mount members 37.

[0036] According to the present invention, the basket 32 is, preferably, made of composite material as are the mount members 37, 10 frame 36, mount members 35, and posts 39. A shale shaker similar to the shale shaker 40 is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,392,925 (co-owned with the present invention and incorporated fully herein for all purposes), but this patent has no teaching, motivation, or suggestion to make a shale shaker or parts of it with such composite material.

[0037] FIG. 5 shows a shale shaker 40 according to the present invention, which has a lower base frame 41 on which is mounted a screen bed support frame 42. Air springs 44 positioned between mount members 45a connected to the support frame 42 and mount members 45b connected to the base frame 41 provide resilient support for the support frame 42. Vibratory apparatus 47 connected to the support frame 42 vibrates the support frame 42 and thus vibrates a screen or screens on the support frame 42. A vertical strut 45 provides support for the vibratory apparatus 47. Each air spring 44 has a body 44a.

[0038] According to the present invention, the base frame 41, bodies 44a, strut 45, mount members 45a, and/or mount members 45b are, preferably made of composite material or of steel encased in or coated with composite material. A shale shaker similar to the shale shaker 40, but with no teaching, motivation, or suggestion of using such composite material for a shale shaker or parts thereof, is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,685,982, incorporated fully herein for all purposes.

[0039] FIG. 6 shows a vibratory separator 60 according to the present invention which has a stationary base 61 and a moving frame 62 moved by apparatus 64 connected to the frame 62. Intervening resilient members 63 are positioned between brackets 69 of the frame 2 and posts 67 of the base 61. Screens 65 and 66 are mounted on corresponding decks 65a and 66a, respectively. It is to be understood that although only one side of the separator 60 is shown in FIG. 6, the other side is like the side that is shown (as is true for the apparatus of FIGS. 4 and 5 also).

[0040] According to the present invention, the base 61, resilient 10 members 63, brackets 69, posts 67, and/or decks 65a, 66a are made of composite material or steel encased in or coated with composite material. EPO patent application 0 238 455, App. No. 87830099.5 filed Mar. 17, 1987 discloses a separator similar to the separator 60, but it has no teaching, suggestion or motivation to make a separator or parts thereof of such composite material. This EPO Application is incorporated fully herein for all purposes.

[0041] FIGS. 7-9 show a vibratory separator 100 which is a portable, self-contained unit, having a combined tank and base 115, screen box 116, screen 112, screen deck 117 and drive 118. Combined tank and base 115 is “L” shaped in its side elevation and the screen is substantially rectangular in its plan view. Screen box 116 is spring supported on base 115 and carries screen deck 117 and vibrator assembly 121. A drive 118 has a V-belt 122 connecting pulley 123 to one end of vibrator shaft 124 and pulley 125 attached to electric motor 126 mounted on the top of box 116. The tank and base 115 have two vertical side plates 127, two transverse tubes 128, feed-box 129 and collecting tank 130. Each side plate 127 may have horizontal stiffeners 131 and two spring support brackets 132. Upper edge 133 of the side plate is sloped downwardly from the feed-end to the discharge to conform generally to the average slope of screen deck 117. Two tubes 128 act as transverse structural ties between side plate 127 at each end of the base near the bottom of the side plates. The tubes extend outwardly beyond the side plates and horizontal stiffeners to permit a hoisting sling to be used over each tube end 128a. At the feed-end of the screen, feed box 129 is attached to side plates 127 just above one of the transverse tubes 128 and has lower portion 129a and upper portion 129b. The lower portion is triangular in transverse cross-section and is arranged to receive material from inlet pipe 135 and direct same upwardly to the generally rectangular portion 129b which communicates with flume 137. Adjustable feed vanes 140 are provided in feed flume 137. Each vane 140 has a pivoted vertical plate 141 attached to threaded rod 142. The plates are, preferably, approximately as wide as the spacing between the threaded rods and as high as sides 143 of flume 137. When set perpendicular to the flow, the vanes can prevent flow, but when opened they present a wide surface to control the direction of flow. Collecting tank 130 is integrally formed in base 115 to provide a watertight hopper for collecting undersize material and water flowing through screen 147 supported on screen deck 117. The screen 147 may be any suitable known screen for a shale shaker. In the lower central portion of each side plate 127, discharge openings 148 are provided for withdrawing undersize material. A formed bottom plate 151 sloping from the feed-end to discharge openings 148 and flanged vertically at the discharge end, is connected or welded to side plates 127 to provide for the collection of the undersize material and water and to permit it to flow to discharge openings 148. Screen box 116 has two vertical side plates 155 which are, preferably, approximately trapezoidal in outline. Spring support brackets 156 are on each side plate at predetermined locations. Coil springs 157 are located between screen box brackets 156 and base brackets 132 to provide for isolation of vibrating screen box 116 from base 115. Screen deck 117 is connected to or bolted to side plates 155 to tie them together transversely into a rigid structure. Motor support plate 158 is fastened to the top of one side plate 155 slightly forwardly of its longitudinal center line. Horizontal transverse tube 152 connects motor support plate 158 to counter weight 153 mounted on the opposite plate. Springs 190 are disposed between weight assemblies 162 and mounts 191. Counterweight 153 balances the weight of the drive on the screen box to obtain more uniform motion. The vibrator assembly 121 is connected to each side plate 155 e.g., with fasteners 159. Drive extension 161 of vibrator shaft 124 extends beyond counterweight assembly 162 on the same side of the screen box as the motor support plate 158. Screen box 116 with screen deck 117, drive 118, vibrator assembly 121 and screen means 147 all move as a unit with a vibrating motion produced by vibrator 121. Screen deck 117 has a generally horizontal feed section 119 followed by inclined discharge section 120, e.g., inclined downwardly at 5 degrees in the direction of flow. Vibrator assembly 121 has a tubular housing 180, with flanged end bell section 181 on each of its ends, which is connected to screen box side plates 155. Within each end bell 181 there is a flanged cartridge type sealed spherical roller bearing block 182. The bearing blocks support vibrator shaft 124 which has a concentric extension 183 on each of its ends beyond the bearing box for mounting counterweight assemblies 162. End 161 of the vibrator shaft is further extended to carry V belt pulley 123 for drive 118.

[0042] Tensioning arrangement 170 includes support rod 172 extending between side plates 155 of screen box 116. A longitudinally extending member is pivotally attached to rod 172. A spring 171 is connected at one end to an end of the longitudinally extending member and at its other end to bracket 176 which in turn is connected to the bottom of side plate 155. A tensioning member extends vertically upward from shaft 172. A spring member 171 provides a force for urging the tensioning member in a clockwise direction.

[0043] The screen 147 is supported in a longitudinal direction via transversely extending bars 177 having generally “U” shaped support members 178 attached at the top thereof to directly support the undersurface of screen 147. The support members are made from or covered with rubber or composite or metal (e.g. steel, stainless steel, aluminum, aluminum alloy, zinc, zinc alloy, bronze, brass or iron) encased in or coated with composite material or other suitable material. The support bars 177 located at the feed end of screen deck 117 progressively decrease in height to provide a bowed or cambered support surface for screen 147. The support bars 177 disposed under screen 147 of discharge section 120 progressively decrease in height relative to the 5 degree downward incline in the direction of flow to also provide a bowed or cambered support surface for overlying screen 147. The bowed or cambered support surface provided by members 177 and 178 enable screen 147 to be tensioned evenly when placed on deck 117.

[0044] The various parts and components of the separator 100 may, according to the present invention, be made of composite material, steel or other suitable metal or coated with or encased in composite material; including, but not limited to parts bearing numerals: 115-116, 119, 120, 124, 127-133, 135, 137, 140-143, 148, 151-153, 155-159, 161, 162, 171, 172, 176-178, 180-183, 190, and/or 191.

[0045] U.S. Pat. No. 4,420,391 (fully incorporated herein for all purposes) discloses a separator similar to the separator 100, but it has no teaching, suggestion, or motivation to use composite material as disclosed according to the present invention for separators or parts thereof.

[0046] FIG. 10 shows a side wall 200 for a shale shaker basket which has a main body 201 made of any suitable material, including, but not limited to metal, steel, fiberglass, or composite material.

[0047] Portions 202 of the body 201 are made of composite material and provide attachment points for brackets or other mount members for mounting the basket to springs, air springs, resilient members, or shock absorbers. Any suitable composite may be used, including, but not limited to, relatively flexible composite material as disclosed in or as referred to in references cited in U.S. Pat. No. 6,346,319.

[0048] FIG. 11 shows a shale shaker 210 like the shale shaker of FIG. 3, but with basket spring mounts 212 which have a portion 214 made of relatively flexible composite material. Optionally, base members 216 to which springs 211 are secured have a top poriton 218 made of such relatively flexible composite material and a lower section 219 made of less flexible composite material or of metal, e.g., but not limited to, steel. Any part disclosed herein may have a portion made of such relatively flexible composite material.

[0049] FIG. 12 shows a shale shaker 300 according to the present invention which has a vibrating screen 312 with a lower edge 313, vibrated by vibrator 316 with nozzles 322 for spraying cuttings with washing fluid. A pump 326 pumps the fluid from a tank 324 through a line 328 and recirculates the fluid through a line 330. Material is fed onto the screen 312 from a chute 320. A portion of the pump output can be diverted via a line 334 to a hydrocyclone or centrifuge 332 and then through a line 336 to the tank 324. The screen 312 is secured to a support structure or base 319 by hollow elastomeric isolators 318 which may be of the pneumatically expandable type to tune the apparatus to achieve a desired vibratory pattern or, instead of the isolators 318, coil springs, solid shock absorbers, or resilient members may be used. The isolators 318 are mounted between isolator mounts 318c and 318a or 318b. It is to be understood that although only one side of the shaker is shown in FIG. 12, the other side is like the side that is shown (as is true for other apparatus shown in figures herein).

[0050] According to the present invention, the base 319, isolators 318, isolator mounts 318c, isolator mounts 318a and 318b, and/or the chute 320 are made of composite material or metal encased in or coated with composite material. U.K. Patent Application GB2089403A and U.S. Pat. No. 3,014,587 disclose a shaker similar to the shaker 300, but they have no teaching, suggestion or motivation to make a shaker or parts thereof of composite material as disclosed according to the present invention. This U.K. Application and U.S. Patent are incorporated fully herein for all purposes.

[0051] FIGS. 13A and 13B disclose a structural member 400 according to the present invention for use with vibratory separators and shale shakers. Although shown with a generally elliptical tar crosssection, any suitable crosssection may be used. In one particular aspect the member 400 is used for mounting springs or other isolators between a screen support and a base or housing; but it is to be understood that, according to the present invention, such structure may be used for basket ends or walls, chutes, posts, and for supporting members or bases. As shown the member 400 has a plurality of rings of different material. In one aspect rings 401 and 403 and a core 405 are made from relatively rigid composite material and the rings 402, 404 are made from flexible composite material. Alternatively, the rings 402, 404 are made of the rigid material and the rings 401, 403 and core 405 are made of the flexible material. It is within the scope of the present invention to use any desired number of rings of either material.

[0052] FIG. 14 shows a wall or end 500 of a basket of a separator or shaker according to the present invention. The wall or end 500 has a coating of composite material 501 on one side and a layer of composite material 502 on the other side. Alternatively, both sides are coated or both sides are have a layer of the material. Any composite material disclosed herein may be used. In certain aspects the coating 501 is the thickness of one, two, three, four or more layers of paint and the layer 502 ranges between {fraction (1/64)}th inch and ½ inch in thickness.

[0053] FIG. 15 shows a spring mount or spring support 510 which has a body 512 made of composite material and inner core 514 made of composite material. A plurality of spaced-apart rods or discs 515 extend through the core 514 and have ends that project into the body 512. Such a structure may be used for basket side walls and ends, for bases or supports, and for posts or chutes. In certain aspects the body 512 is made of relatively rigid composite material and the core 514 and discs or rods 515 are made of relatively flexible composite material, or vice-versa. The body 512 and the core 514 may have a top crosssection like that of the member 400 in FIG. 13A and 13B; or they may have any desired crosssectional shape, including, but not limited to, triangular, square, rectangular, pentagonal or hexagonal. Any member, base, mount or structural part disclosed herein according to the present invention may have the rods or discs or core of the support 510 and/or a ring or rings or core as in the member 400.

[0054] FIG. 16 shows a spring mounting apparatus for a spring or other isolator of a separator or shaker that has a lower mount member 522 and an upper mount member 521. These mount members may be suitably attached or secured to a part of a separator or shaker and to a base or housing. Extending between the mount members 521, 522 is a spring 523. A lower part of the spring 523 encircles a projection 525 of the lower mount member 522 and an upper part of the spring 523 encircles a projection 524 of the upper mount member 521. The top crosssections of the mount members 521, 522 and of the projections 524, 525 may be like a top crosssection like that of the member 400 in FIG. 13A and 13B; or they may have any desired crosssectional shape, including, but not limited to, triangular, square, rectangular, pentagonal or hexagonal. The mount members 521 and 522 are made of composite material. The spring 523 has a portion thereof coated with composite material 523a; but it is within the scope of this invention for any other part or parts of the spring 523, or substantially all of it, to be so coated.

[0055] “Composite” material as used herein includes fiberglass material and other non-metallic composite materials of sufficient strength and rigidity to serve as the listed parts, according to the present invention, of shale shakers, including, but not limited to, the composite materials referred to in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,335,101; 6,346,425; 6,352,779; 6,343,038; 6,355,206; 6,355,358; 6,361,860; 6,324,833; 6,324,833; and 6,358,603 and in the references cited in these patents—all fully incorporated here for all purposes. It is within the scope of the present invention to use for a part for a shale shaker (parts listed or mentioned above according to the present invention) a composite material with reinforcing wires, bars, cables, pieces, plates, rods and/or discs which are metal, wood or plastic and with and/or within a matrix of cement, fiberglass, and/or plastic, including, but not limited to, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,358,603 and in the references referred to in this patent, all of which are incorporated fully herein for all purposes.

[0056] The present invention in at least, but not necessarily all, embodiments, therefore, provides a vibratory separator or a shale shaker with a base, vibration isolation apparatus on the base, a basket, mount apparatus for mounting the basket on the base, and at least one of the base, the basket, and the mount apparatus made of, encased in, or coated with composite material. Such a separator or shaker may have one or some, in any possible combination, of the following: wherein the composite material is non-metal composite material; wherein the composite material includes at least a portion thereof made of flexible composite material or is substantially all flexible composite material; wherein the composite material includes at least one reinforcing part within the composite material; wherein the reinforcing part is made of metal; wherein the reinforcing part is made of material from the group of wood, plastic, fiber, and composite material; electronic tracking apparatus on the shale shaker or separator which may, optionally, be coated with, encased in, or with a housing made of composite material; the basket with a plurality of interconnected walls, the walls connected by electromagnetic welding; the shale shaker or separator has a screen support apparatus and vibratory apparatus for vibrating the screen support apparatus, and isolation apparatus for isolating the screen support apparatus to inhibit vibrations vibrating the screen apparatus from vibrating objects other than the screen support apparatus and the screen apparatus; mounting apparatus to which is mounted the isolation apparatus, the mounting apparatus made from, encased in or coated with composite material; wherein the mounting apparatus includes at least a portion made from, encased in or coated with flexible composite material; wherein the at least a portion of flexible composite material is a plurality of spaced-apart amounts of flexible composite material; wherein the mounting apparatus is made from flexible composite material; wherein the isolation apparatus is a plurality of spaced-apart isolation apparatuses; wherein the isolation apparatus is from the group of springs, resilient members, cushions, flexible hollow members, and inflatable members; wherein the isolation apparatus is coated with composite material; wherein the isolation apparatus is encased in composite material; mounting apparatus to which is mounted the isolation apparatus, the mounting apparatus coated with composite material; mounting apparatus to which is mounted the isolation apparatus the mounting apparatus encased in composite material; wherein the basket includes a plurality of interconnected walls; and/or wherein the shale shaker is for treating fluid introduced thereto, the fluid to be treated including fluid with drilled cuttings therein and/or the fluid to be treated including lost circulation material which, in one aspect, includes fibrous lost circulation material. The present invention in at least, but not necessarily all, embodiments, therefore, provides a method for using any such separator or shaker.

[0057] In conclusion, therefore, it is seen that the present invention and the embodiments disclosed herein and those covered by the appended claims are well adapted to carry out the objectives and obtain the ends set forth. Certain changes can be made in the subject matter without departing from the spirit and the scope of this invention. It is realized that changes are possible within the scope of this invention and it is further intended that each element or step recited in any of the following claims is to be understood as referring to all equivalent elements or steps. The following claims are intended to cover the invention as broadly as legally possible in whatever form it may be utilized. The invention claimed herein is new and novel in accordance with 35 U.S.C. § 102 and satisfies the conditions for patentability in § 102. The invention claimed herein is not obvious in accordance with 35 U.S.C. § 103 and satisfies the conditions for patentability in § 103. This specification and the claims that follow are in accordance with all of the requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 112. The inventor may rely on the Doctrine of Equivalents to determine and assess the scope of their invention and of the claims that follow as they may pertain to apparatus not materially departing from, but outside of, the literal scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.