# CSC Scientific Blog

A blog about test equipment

We recently redesigned our E-commerce site. The redesign proceeded without a hitch, until we got to the sieves.

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If you take Sieve Shakers for granted, you may be surprised to know that the selection of the right shaker can have a profound effect on your sieving results.

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Sieve testing, as I have stated many times, is the Cinderella of particle size analysis because it delivers more value than expected from something that’s so easy to use and relatively inexpensive. However, the problem with standard sieving techniques using wire mesh sieves is that they begin to exhibit accuracy problems in the lower micron sizes.

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Chapter One:

Jim’s life was dull. So, so dull. He spent his days surrounded by piles of sieves – his glamorous job was to calculate the ratio of particles left in the sieves of each stack after a sample of his company’s product was run through the stack using a sieve shaker. It was a job much like the one his cousin Hiram had, although he seemed to remember hearing that Hiram had found an easier way to do it.

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Visitors to our web pages often arrive with the question, “What is the Function of a Sieve Shaker?

The simple answer is “to expose the particles in a sample to all the openings in each sieve in a stack”. A sieve stack is the result of fitting each sieve to be used in a given particle size analysis into the one above. The sieve with the largest mesh holes is at the top with each subsequent sieve of a tighter mesh size than the one above it.

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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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When I tell people at cocktail parties that we specialize in Particle-Size Analysis. I usually get a polite response of ------ “OH !!,”   which translates to “So who cares?”

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

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I have often ranted about the limited range of ASTM 11 sieve mesh standards as it relates to individual sieve certification. We at CSC have tried to help clearly distinguish between different levels of inspection and/or degrees of conformity. We outlined three levels of sieve certification. These are working sieves, mesh certified sieves and mid point sieves. There are summary definitions of these categories on the CSC Web site.

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In one of my more contemplative moments, I thought a bit of history about particle size analysis would be of interest. So let’s see Who Cares About Sieve Testing.

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