How to Clean Testing Sieves for Spring Cleaning

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To optimally use your test sieves, you have to ensure you are cleaning and storing them properly. Test molecular sieve is a precision instrument and if handled properly with care will retain its accuracy and last longer.

What Essentially You Should Know Before Cleaning Your test Molecular Sieve

Always:

  • Wash new sieves through warm water and mild soap to remove oil or grease prior to undergo any tests.
  • Store test sieve in dry and clean conditions. A vertical rack that has separate compartments can prevent damage while you store your sieve and keeps it organized for comfortable access.
  • Be tactful if you are use oven for drying sieves. Excessive heat might soften the epoxies or solder used in assembly. Heat can also cause your tensioned cloth to pull out of the frame. Therefore, it is highly recommended to let molecular sieves air dry.  

For cleaning use sieve brushes.

  • Coarser sieves bigger than #4, or 4.75 mm will need a coarse sieve brush for efficient cleaning.
  • Sieves ranging from #5 to #170 are best cleaned through a medium bristle stiff brush or a fine sieve cleaning brush.
  • Finer mesh sieves ranging from #200 to #270 must be cleaned using a soft bristle brush to avoid the cloth damaging.
  • Make sure you use a light touch on fine mesh sizes so your chance of damaging the cloth can be averted.

How to Clean a Testing Sieve

Always:

  • Brush the inner side of a wire cloth through circular motion, exerting mild pressure to dislodge near-size particles.
  • Touch the sieve frame through the wooden handle of the brush to dislodge particles; however, be gentle so your frame cannot get deformed.
  • Wash the molecular sieve in a water solution and warm soap to clean near-size particles stuck in the mesh. Carefully brush the inner side of the sieve in the water. Consider using an ultrasonic cleaner for sieves cleaning with finer mesh. If you are using an ultrasonic cleaner, dip the sieve in a detergent solution and water. The ultrasonic agitation will make the removal process easy of the near-size particles.
  • Examine finer mesh sieves periodically against the white or backlight background for perimeter separations or damaged openings. Use magnified viewing when required.

What You Should Avoid or Don’t Do

Don’t

  • Exert power on embedded particles through the openings using compressed air or tools.
  • Use any type of solvent as they can potentially damage the protective lacquer coating used on some sieve frames.
  • Go for acid solutions while cleaning sieves as it can minimize the wire diameter, enlarge the openings, and can loosen the weaving of wire cloth. This can affect the sieve accuracy negatively.
  • Brush testing molecular sieve 4a finer than #325. Alternatively, you can immerse them in an ultrasonic bath to clean them.
  • Continue using test sieves if the wire is loose, worn, or damaged. Evaluate sieves frequently to ensure there are zero defects in the cloth.
  • Dare to repair small breaks or holes. Replace your sieve if you see any of these damages.

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