Testing sieves are the effective most devices used for separating elements of different sizes (fine, medium, and coarse) by means of the perforated or meshed surface.
Based on how the sieves are used and what kind of particles are separated, sieves differ in application, size, and shape.
The majority of the sieves that are used are analytical sieves.
These are widely used in different industrial processing units, laboratory analysis as well as kitchen or catering industries.
Some of the common types of sieves that are used for varied applications include:
- Air Jet Sieves
- Microplate Sieves
- Wet Washing Sieves
- Perforated Plate Sieves
Most of the time, these can be either made up of plastic or metal.
Why Is Cleaning of Test Sieve Important?
Test Sieves used for laboratory or scientific experiments are highly accurate tools designed for scientific excellence and procedures.
Regular usage of this equipment for different researches and scientific experiments makes them vulnerable to damage very easily.
To avoid the sieve from any distortion requires taking special care and attention from time to time.
Since the occurrence of dirt or grime can alter the reliable laboratory results, careful cleaning of these test sieves is important and should be an ongoing process.
Cleaning and maintaining the test sieves in good condition is therefore crucial to get accurate and most precise results in the lab.
How to Clean a Sieve?
The primary reason why mesh sieves are easily damaged is not because of their work or how they are utilized, but it is due of the rough cleaning process they have undergone.
So, to avoid damage occurring to the sieve, it is important to clean it before and after usage.
Below is the basic procedure which can be utilized for cleaning your test sieves properly.
- Use a soft sieve cleaning brush to clean your test sieve.
- While applying very light pressure, brush the mesh or wire cloth of the sieve in circular motions.
- Now tap the sieve frame gently with the handle of the brush so that the attached particles (to the fine mesh) get dislodged.
- Now wash the sieve using warm soapy water. This will remove all the near-sized particles which are already lodged in the mesh.
- You may need to brush the underside of the sieve- placed it in the water again. And then rinse the sieve finally with clean water.
Although the above process is good enough for regular cleaning of test sieves, ultrasonic sieve cleaning is often recommended to get even better results.
Why Use Ultrasonic Cleaner for Test Sieve?
Sieve cleaning is a time-consuming process for lab professionals.
However, if cleaned using ultrasonic sieve cleaner, you can certainly get finer results in very less time.
In fact, ultrasonic cleaning devices for sieves are highly recommended when you want to clean the sieves with very fine mesh.
Unlike the manual cleaning method, these devices employ a powerful strategy for gently cleaning and removing the sample residues from the test sieves without making any damage to the mesh material.
Ultrasonic sieve cleaners such as Elma Compact Ultrasonic Test Sieve Cleaner are now available in the market and have made the sieve cleaning process much easier for industries and labs.
Cleaning your sieves through an ultrasonic cleaning device like this can increase the sieving capacities many folds and can also enhance their overall longevity.
How Does an Ultrasonic Sieve Cleaner Work?
The cleaning process using an ultrasonic sieve cleaner is highly reliable and efficient.
The good part is it can be repeated a number of times which makes it cost-effective as well as ideal for the defined laboratory applications.
The unclean sieve is first placed in an ultrasonic bath that is filled with an aqueous cleaning liquid (made of water and a high-quality ultrasonic cleaning solution).
When switched on, the cleaning device starts creating ultrasonic waves that generate microscopic bubbles.
These collide vigorously with the soiled sieve surface placed within the cleaning liquid.
The process acts like brushing and is called cavitation, which actually removes all the contaminants and fine particles bonded to the sieves’ surface without actually impacting its make and design.
The entire process involved is Eco-friendly and hence is gentler as compared to the conventional sieve cleaning methods.
Ultrasonic cleaner for sieves is now available at online stores such as Amazon and eBay.
You can research a bit to choose the device that fulfills your requirements completely.
Precautions When Using and Cleaning the Sieves
Clean your newly bought test sieve using warm soapy water before using it for the test.
This will remove any unwanted greasy material or oil if present.
You need to examine the finer sieves periodically so that you can detect any damaged openings early.
1- Cracks in the Epoxy:
Epoxy is like a frame that holds the mesh of the sieve in place. Check these edges periodically to ensure that it’s not cracked.
If there are cracks, repair or replace the sieve immediately.
Not doing this can allow more particles to pass through, which can alter your testing results significantly.
2- Dents or Scratches in the Mesh:
These are easy to spot just by looking at your sieve.
You can do this by examining the sieve against a white background or backlight. If required, a magnifying glass can be used for viewing.
In case you see any spots or dents, make sure that you stop using it until repaired.
If you continue to use, dents present in the sieve mesh can make the openings wider, which will again affect your analytical results.
DON’TS when Cleaning Test Sieves
Below are a few additional things that you should avoid completely while cleaning the test sieves.
- Do not use compressed air or power tools for cleaning or forcing out the embedded particles from the test sieve mesh.
- Do not use any acidic or chemically harsh solvents for cleaning as it can adversely affect the accuracy and precision of the sieve.
- Do not use the bush for cleaning sieves that are finer than 45 um (#325). Ultrasonic sieve cleaner should be used for these sieves.
- Do not use the sieve to test if the mesh wire cloth is loose or carries any defects.
- Worn-out or damaged openings in the sieves make them inaccurate. You should replace these types of test sieves rather than repair them.
- Also, do not ever try to repair the sieves yourself. Get the help of a professional to repair for accuracy.
Storing Your Sieves Correctly
Well, when you have cleaned up your test sieve perfectly, it is time to store them properly. Always store them in a place with clean, dry conditions.
Storing the sieves in a wet place or at extreme temperatures can make the mesh and epoxy damaged, which can result in inaccurate testing.
If possible, use a vertical rack that separates different sieves within different compartments.
This will not only prevent any damage but also keep them well organized for easy access whenever required.
In the end, the cleaning of your test sieves is an essential task for getting the most accurate results.
If you are into any business requiring you to use these sieves, do not ignore the cleaning part.
Whatever method you use, make sure you get them cleaned on a regular basis and check for any dents or scratches to fix them as soon as possible.