Crash Coarse: Using Stainless Steel Strainers for Coarse Filtration

Before getting into why you might choose stainless steel for your coarse strainer, it could be helpful to have a short course in strainers, their uses and things you should think about when you’re shopping for one.

Preparing machine for work in pharmaceutical factory. Chemical industry. Pharmaceutical Factory Worker. Pharmaceutical Industry.

When discussing filtration, the terms “filter” and “strainer” are sometimes used interchangeably, and, broadly speaking, that’s fine. Both strainers and filters are used in processing to separate out unwanted material in the final product.

For industrial purposes, however, it’s convenient to distinguish filters, which are used to take out small particulates, even those that are the size of microbes, from strainers. Filters usually have a sock or other device, often made of polyester or polypropylene rather than metal, to perform the filtering work.

Strainers, on the other hand, are usually constructed from metal and reserved for larger particulates. They fall into three broad categories:

  • Coarse for handling large particles
  • Medium to remove particles measuring about 75-1906 microns
  • Filtration to take care of particles as small as 40 microns

Choosing the right strainer for an industrial application, such as pharmaceutical or beverage manufacturing, takes some thought and foresight. For example, you have to consider sanitary and cleaning requirements, corrosive effects, processing volume, useful life and more.

You can make strainer selection a lot easier just by asking the right questions:

  • What are you manufacturing?
  • What characteristics define the product from which you’re removing solids?
  • How big is the line your product is moving through?
  • What’s the flow rate of the product moving through the line?
  • How much solid material are you trying to remove from the product?

Although most of these questions might seem pretty basic, having a clear picture of the strainer’s requirements comes in handy when it’s time to look at all the options and “filter” out the best of the lot. In the end, you’re likely to discover that one strainer feature you’ll want is stainless steel construction.

Why stainless steel?

There’s no question that strainers are extremely important to the integrity and quality of many products because they remove both foreign matter and unwanted particulates arising from the manufacturing process. Not only does the strainer have to perform its function well, but it also has to avoid blocking production and becoming a haven for bacteria and other potentially hazardous material. Stainless steel does both very well.

Close-up of juice bottles arranged in rows at factory

The many benefits of stainless steel include:

  • Strength. Stainless steel is made to last, so you won’t have to replace your coarse strainer as often.
  • Low friction. Stainless can be polished so it presents very low surface roughness. This helps prevent material from building up and creating a home for microbes and slowing throughput.
  • Easy cleaning. The smooth surface also makes a thorough cleaning easy, thus preventing bacterial contamination.
  • Corrosion resistance. Stainless steel has earned its name. It resists the effects of a wide range of corrosive materials.
  • Adaptability. Stainless strainers are available to meet the requirements of a broad spectrum of applications.
  • Custom options

Because stainless steel is such an adaptable material, custom fabrication is available to fit virtually any need. Whether you need a custom stainless steel coarse strainer depends on your answer to the questions listed above. If your answers indicate that a custom solution is best, the next step is to talk with a strainer manufacturer.

Just because you can’t immediately locate the perfect strainer, you can still have it. The key is finding a strainer manufacturer who has the expertise and capabilities to customize it.

Whether they’re customized or standard, stainless steel coarse strainers are the best choice for almost any application because they:

  • Help keep products free of contamination
  • Make maintenance and cleaning easier
  • Last longer

For more than 107 years, Newark Wire has specialized in fabricating standard and custom wire mesh products, including stainless steel SaniClean Strainers. Contact the company for more information about wire mesh and its industrial processing applications.

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