Definition - What does Reciprocation mean?

Reciprocation is a back-and-forth or up-and-down movement of the drill sting, casing string, liner and pistons in internal combustion engines or compressors. Reciprocation of the drill string is done so as to clean debris and cuttings from the wellbore. In internal combustion engines, the reciprocal movement of pistons is converted into rotary movement. Compressors are positive displacement machines with reciprocating pistons within a cylinder.

Petropedia explains Reciprocation

The equipment installed in the oil and gas industry and other industries such as petrochemicals, fertilizer manufacturing, and wrought iron industries, generally work on reciprocating and rotary actions.

An internal combustion engine is a simple example of reciprocating motion. It works on the principle of reciprocation in which pistons move back-and-forth or up-and-down motion inside the cylinder and power the motor. Reciprocating the casing string and liners improves the chances of a good cementing job. The oil and gas industry makes use of variety of equipment that functions on reciprocating actions, such as:

  • Reciprocating motors
  • Reciprocating compressors
  • Diaphragm pumps
  • Engines
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