CSC Scientific Blog

A blog about test equipment

CSC Scientific Blog

Sieve Calibration Is the Holy Grail !

Posted by Art Gatenby on Sep 11, 2012 1:11:00 PM

Yes Harry, there is a Santa Clause. Or, more specifically, there really is a Holy Grail for ensuring consistent particle size analysis. 

If you’ve been following along, you know it was proven by Pequeño and his family of 150 micron particles who tried to bust our friend Harry’s quality control by attempting to slip through the mesh in Harry’s test sieves and defeat sieve certification.

(If you missed this drama, check out previous posts in the Holy Grail series.)

Now that we have indeed confirmed that, yes, sieve calibration really is the Holy Grail that sieve testers have been looking for, let’s get to work and dive a little deeper. Let’s examine some methods of sieve calibration.

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Topics: Calibration, Particle Size Analysis, Sieve Calibration, Sieve Testing, Sieves, Sieving Process

Is Sieve Calibration Really The Holy Grail? Episode IV

Posted by Art Gatenby on Jun 18, 2012 4:01:00 PM

You may remember Pequeño and his family of very small 150 micron (150µ) particles being very determined to defeat sieve certification.

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Topics: Calibration, Particle Size Analysis, Sieve Calibration, Sieve Certification, Sieve Testing, Sieves, Sieving Process, Sieve Analysis

Is Sieve Calibration Really The Holy Grail? Part III

Posted by Art Gatenby on Apr 12, 2012 1:12:00 PM

We continue to search for answers to the question "Is Sieve Calibration Really the Holy Grail?" As promised,we present Episode III of the Pequeño saga. You may remember him as a very small (150-micron) particle with many similar-sized family members who are determined to defeat sieve certification.

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Topics: Calibration, Particle Size Analysis, Sieve Certification, Sieve Testing, Sieves, Sieving Process, Sieve Analysis

Is Sieve Calibration Really the Holy Grail? Part II

Posted by Art Gatenby on Feb 7, 2012 4:44:00 PM

 Is Sieve Calibration Really the Holy Grail? Part II: Inside a Sieve Test 

As I start on this second installment of The Adventures of Pequeño: The 150 Micron Particle, I wonder why I get myself into these serial onslaughts. However, a promise is a promise, so I shall press on.

You will recall from Part I: Sieve Certification, our little friend Pequeño, a particle on a determined quest to make it through sieves -- particularly those through which he should be too large to pass. In this scenario, Pequeño along with some of his family and friends -- all small particles about 150 microns in size -- are on their way to a sieve test.

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Topics: Sieve Shakers, ASTM, Pequeño, Calibration, Particle Size Analysis, Sieve Calibration, Sieve Certification, Sieve Testing, Sieves

Is Sieve Calibration Really the Holy Grail? -- Part I: Certification

Posted by Art Gatenby on Nov 7, 2011 3:13:00 PM

Sieve calibration is the final step in determining whether processes yield suitable end results. In other words:
  • Is your concrete going to be strong enough?
  • Will you chocolates taste right?

  • Will your washing powder flow and dissolve as advertised?

  • Is there dangerous residue in your pill stock?

  • Will the “frack sand” keep the fractures open?

  • Is my salt of the correct grade?

If these are not correct, serious consequences could result (e.g. spoiled product, returned batches, rework or scrap).

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Topics: Calibration, Particle Size Analysis, Sieve Calibration, Sieve Certification, Sieve Testing, Sieves, Sieving Process

Sieves – Old and New QC Issues

Posted by Art Gatenby on Jul 6, 2011 3:13:00 PM

In April, we published an article in "Powder-Bulk Solids" comparing certification process veracity with a sieve calibration process using calibrated glass microspheres (or beads). The certification process merely indicates that a sieve mesh conforms to a standard that has a wide tolerance regarding mesh openings. It is performed on a small number of openings. On the other hand, calibration using the calibrated beads results in a number representing the mean opening -- a result generated by actually performing a test encompassing at least 80% of the mesh openings.

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Topics: Sieve Shakers, Calibration, Particle Size Analysis, Sieve Calibration, Sieve Certification, Sieve Testing, Sieves, Sieving Process

Who's Concerned About Sieve Shakers?

Posted by Art Gatenby on Mar 11, 2011 12:33:00 PM


The primary purpose of a sieve shaker is to provide motion to a sample in a test sieve.

An effective sieve shaker creates a motion that presents all the particles to all of the sieve openings and assists particles in passing through. This requires both rotary and vertical motion.

This process seems simple enough, but let's not be taken in.

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Topics: Sieve Shakers, Particle Size Analysis, Sieve Testing, Sieves

Certify Sieves or Calibrate Sieves --- Should You Do It?

Posted by Art Gatenby on Jun 30, 2010 4:57:00 PM

The relative value of a sieve certification process vs a sieve calibration has perplexed me for a long time.

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Topics: Sieve Shakers, Mid-Point Sieves, Particle Size Analysis, Sieve Calibration, Sieve Testing, Sieves

Static Electricity and Sieves: No Problem -- Maybe

Posted by Art Gatenby on Apr 21, 2010 2:02:00 PM

I'll bet that most of you have experienced the shock of walking on a thick wool rug on a dry winter's day and getting zapped out of your reverie when reaching for the metal door knob.


The same process of static electricity generation can play havoc with your sieving process.

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Topics: Sieve Blinding, Agglomeration, Sieve Testing, Sieves

Re-Certify Mid-Point Sieves? When and How?

Posted by Art Gatenby on Jan 29, 2010 12:24:00 PM

I recently had a long conversation with the person [we'll call him Bill] responsible for setting up the quality procedures for very tight specifications in a new process -- part of which was developing procedures for checking the ongoing tolerances of production sieves.
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Topics: Mid-Point Sieves, Sieve Calibration, Sieve Testing, Sieves

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