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Are Strainers a Good Fit for your Process

Strainer application

Strainer technology is increasingly gaining popularity as a filtration solution. When used in the right circumstances, introducing strainers to a process can dramatically improve the quality of the final product, leading to smoother operation and decreased maintenance costs. In addition, strainers can help reduce the number of pollutants released into the environment. With these benefits, it’s easy to see why strainers are becoming an increasingly popular choice for filtration.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PROCESS

Before deciding whether a strainer should be incorporated into your process stream, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the stream’s makeup and filtration goals. To ensure you make the right decision, ask yourself the following vital questions about the process: What components make up the stream? What are the filtration requirements? What type of strainer should be used? What are the anticipated benefits of incorporating a strainer? Answering these questions can help you determine if and how to implement a strainer and make an informed decision.

DESIRED LEVEL OF FILTRATION

Determining the desired filtration level for a process can be challenging if you don’t know the requirements of the finished product. A simple filtration process with minimal scrutiny may be sufficient, or a high level of cleanliness is essential. Understanding the end goal is the best way to achieve the desired result. Various factors determine the filtration level that should be specified, such as the nature of the process, the amount of impurities in the fluid, and the final product’s requirements. Knowing these variables is crucial in determining the best filtration level for your unique process.

CONTAMINANTS PRESENT

Once you understand the contaminants in your system, it’s essential to consider their nature and the chemical properties that influence the filtration strategy. This is the key to creating a successful filtration approach and avoiding common pitfalls in the industry. The nature of the contaminants, such as the size, type, and concentration, should be considered when determining the final product’s cleanliness. An in-depth analysis of the pollutants and their chemical properties can help you create an effective filtration strategy and ensure you are eliminating them. Doing this will help you avoid potential issues and ensure a high-quality, contaminant-free product.

PARTICLE DISTRIBUTION AND WEIGHT OF CONTAMINANTS

The particle distribution of the contaminants is a critical factor in determining the most effective filtration system. Knowing the particle size range and the volume of pollutants in the product is essential to ensure the distribution is even throughout. Some particles may be significantly more significant than others, which could require adjustments to the filtration system. A thorough analysis of the contaminants within the fluid must be conducted. Understanding the nature of the contaminant and its distribution makes it possible to be sure of the right filtration system.

DESIRED RUN TIME BEFORE REQUIRED MAINTENANCE

When implementing a filtration process, it’s essential to consider the maintenance of the equipment involved. Operational and maintenance expectations must be taken into account when sizing filtration vessels. How often will personnel be expected or permitted to perform regular, preventative, and reactive maintenance on the equipment? What is the budget for maintenance and equipment replacement? 

Failing to maintain equipment properly can have a disastrous effect on operations. All equipment will require regular maintenance, but it may need to be done more often than expected, depending on how the filtration is set up. Proper equipment maintenance will help ensure a successful filtration process and prevent costly breakdowns.

INCORPORATING A STRAINER

Adding a strainer to many filtration setups can be highly beneficial. Although it may not always be necessary, it is often the case that a process could benefit from having a strainer but is not using one. During the analysis phase, a strainer would be an invaluable addition, saving time and money in the long run. Therefore, investing in strainer technology can be a wise decision that ultimately pays off.

Using a strainer can be an effective way to facilitate workload distribution in a process system. However, it is essential to understand the contaminants in terms of particle size, distribution, and weight before inserting a strainer. For example, if the liquid analysis reveals that most of the particles are 38 microns and above, inserting a fine mesh strainer at the beginning of the process may make sense to act as a first line of defense. However, this strategy can only be implemented after thoroughly assessing the liquid’s nature.

STAGED FILTRATION

Strainers can effectively increase filtration effectiveness and reduce maintenance requirements when used in a staged filtration approach. Using multiple vessels to filter out contaminants puts less strain on the equipment and provides maximum runtime before maintenance is required. Therefore, implementing a staged filtration approach with upstream strainers can provide greater filtration effectiveness and improved operational efficiency.

Increasing a filter’s surface area and dirt-holding capacity should, in theory, extend the amount of time before needing to replace the filter media. But other variables, such as filter blinding, can significantly reduce the filter’s efficiency at holding dirt. Filter blinding occurs when particulate matter blocks the pores of the filter media, leading to an increase in the differential pressure and, essentially, flow blockage. Keeping this in mind is crucial when considering filter replacement frequency.

By incorporating a strainer to capture particulate larger than 400 mesh (38 microns), as revealed by a sample analysis, you could significantly improve your filtration system. This could lead to increased run times and less frequent filtration change-outs of downstream vessels. Moreover, it could also reduce filter consumption, waste, VOC environmental impacts, and health and safety risks to employees and contractors.

BENEFITS

In addition to the cost savings and process efficiencies of using strainers, the environmental benefits should be noticed. Strainer baskets are highly durable, meaning they do not require being thrown away like filters, leading to far less waste. Plus, strainers are designed to be easily cleaned and reused, giving them an even greater advantage over cartridge media.

 

Yes, strainer technology is an optimal approach for many filtration challenges. However, to get the best results, it’s important to do your research and gain a complete understanding of the process. With thorough knowledge, you can decide whether or not a strainer should be used in your process. With the proper knowledge and resources, you can maximize strainer technology.

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