Fine Mesh Powder Screening

Follow this beat for news and updates from the field and real solutions to fine mesh powder screening and sieving challenges.

How to Properly Clean Fine Mesh Screens Without Damaging Your Equipment

Jeff Hochadel

Over the years I have read many articles about how to reduce screen blinding on vibratory screeners. These solutions range from polyurethane balls to brushes. One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how to clean screens once they are blinded for fine mesh applications. Some customers simply throw out the blinded screens or send them back to our rescreening department for a fresh, new screen to be applied.

A screen does not necessarily have to be a very fine mesh in order to blind. We have seen screens with a mesh as coarse as a 2 or 3 mesh can easily blind due to product lodging in the openings while conveying across a screen deck. Of course, the larger the mesh opening the easier the screen is to clean. A fairly larger opening can simply be cleaned from the “bottom side” of the screen surface with a  simple soft wire or hard nylon brush. We have touched on this type of screen deblinding in previous blogs, you can click here to read more about solutions we suggest for these types of screening applications.

On finer wire mesh screens, let’s say 200 mesh and finer, a soft bristle brush may work but you risk tearing the screen surface or worse yet cutting a couple very fine wire mesh thus turning the 200 mesh opening into a much larger sized opening! If your screen frames are small (3”, 8”, 10”, 12”) Read More…


How to Reclaim up to 30% More of Your Ceramics Media

Jeff Hochadel

During the process of manufacturing paints or other coatings, one of the steps involved is milling or grinding all of the dry ingredients into the liquid portion of the paint. These dry or solids consist of Titanium Dioxide (TIO2) pigments, binders and various other powders. The liquid portion is mainly solvent or in the case of latex base – water. Once all of these dry ingredients have been thoroughly mixed (the proper term is dispersed) into the liquid base of the paint, the next step involves a high shear, high energy process called media milling.

In a nutshell, the paint is run through a chamber that has an enclosed horizontal shaft with discs or blades. The chamber is also filled with very small, spherical, grinding media. The media is made of different materials such as glass, steel and ceramic media. Read More…


The Nitty Gritty of 3D Printing & Powder Sieving

Jeff Hochadel

Here at HK Technologies, we have been sieving powder metal for quite some time. Our Ultrasonic Sieving Systems allow for sieving very fine atomized powders – down to 20 micron on conventional wire mesh and in some cases finer –using electroformed material provided by PrecisionForm, Inc. As the 3D printing industry has exploded, so has the need for finer powders. While I am no expert in the field of 3D printing, I have been involved in several areas requiring finer and finer mesh sieving.

Many of the 3D printing manufacturers install a very simple inline vibratory screener system in the powder feed system. These simple screeners typically sieve the powder through a 74 micron or 200 mesh screen. This insures that no large foreign objects are being fed into the powder part building process. Many times the end user needs finer powder to create the intricate parts they are producing. This powder is typically said to be +20 -25 micron powder. We are also told this powder is classified through an air classification process. The process, while quick and relatively easy, leaves a powder that is not always what it is claimed to be. When asked to check the accuracy of the particle size, we find there is almost always a significant amount, 10% or more, of finer material than claimed. Read More…


Saving Green While You Screen

Jeff Hochadel

We know it’s a big deal when it comes to talking about “sticker price”, especially when it deals with expensive pieces of equipment, or rather process investments that will provide efficiency and give you the best final product possible. Customized pieces of equipment tend to fall under the larger price tags, but don’t be fooled, there are ways to provide the best equipment possible while keeping it in a reasonable price range. Cleveland Vibrator and HK Technologies take every unique application and gives you a solution to best fit your process, and sometimes that solution much simpler than what you thought it was going to be…

Although we have a complete line of screening equipment from small lab models in 3”, 8” and 12” diameters all the way up to 60” diameter screeners we still receive numerous calls from customers looking for customized screeners built around a piece of equipment or a specific process. While many of these applications can be challenging and downright difficult, our shop manager finds them all interesting and challenging. One of the more popular requests are what we call drum sifters or drum screeners. The screeners are simple screeners designed to fit on top of an existing container or a manway on a piece of process equipment. Typically, the customer is not looking to spend a lot of money and is just interested in a way to remove Read More…


The Importance of Proper Installation of Industrial Vibrators

Mike Stratis

“If you don’t have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it again?” – John Wooden, former UCLA Men’s Basketball Coach and Presidential Medal of Freedom award winner.

We have a few frequently asked questions in regards to bin vibrators and many of them revolve around how to get the unit installed. Here is the down and dirty:

  1. Determine the best location of the piston vibrator. Keep in mind, sometimes multiple vibrators are necessary for proper material flow out of bins and hoppers. It comes down to the diameter of the bin or hopper. If the hopper diameter is less and 8 ft. wide, only 1 vibratory unit is necessary. For medium sized hopper that fall within the 8-15 ft. width, 2 units will get the job done. Lastly, large hoppers and bin with a diameter greater than 15 ft. require 3 vibrators.For multiple vibrator unit installs, placement is key. Mount the vibrator to the hopper wall 1/3 the distance from the discharge to the top of the sloped wall. Should a second vibrator be necessary, it should be mounted opposite and approximately 1/4 way up the sloped wall. For large hopper applications requiring three vibrators, mount the third vibrator 1/2 way up the sloped wall.

    The rule of thumb is that a correctly sized vibrator will have an approximate 5ft. radius of influence on material and structure, but when in doubt as to where to install your vibrator, think about where your problem point is and make sure vibration gets to it.

  2. Stitch weld the mounting channel or stiffener plate to the bin wall. Leave the corners on the mounting medium (channel or plate) free of weld. To see why, check out Craig Macklin’s blog titled, “Vibrators Don’t Damage Equipment, Wrong Installations Do.” 
  3. Use the grade 5 fasteners provided by CVC. Tighten them down. The VMS, VMSAC and SI series offer the 4-bolt pattern. This may take an extra few minutes but it offers twice the support compared to 2-bolt pattern units.
  4. Thread the provided port protector or muffler included with the pneumatic vibrator into the exhaust port. Securely tighten.
  5. Loop the safety cable through the hole in the casting as a precautionary measure. Always put safety first!

Read More…


How To Improve Ceramic Slurry Screening With Ultrasonics Deblinding System

Jeff Hochadel

Liquid ceramic glaze or clay slurry materials are used in a variety of products and applications ranging from decorative and protective glazes to tile glaze or electrical porcelains. Typically this material starts with either Koalin clays or ceramic powders mixed with water or other liquids to form a slurry. Depending on the application this slurry will need to be screened to remove any agglomerates (powders that did not get dispersed during the mixing process). This is a very important step because in many applications, this slurry or slip will eventually be applied to an exterior surface either as a decorative or possibly a protective coating. In either case, the coating needs to be free of any oversize agglomerates or debris allowing for an attractive smooth finish free of any pits or blemishes. The finer the screen or sieve used, the better or smoother the finish.

Depending on the application, screening can range from simply pouring the slip or slurry through a filter bag with a relatively coarse mesh to using vibratory screeners with finer mesh sizes – down to 120 mesh or maybe finer. This is where the difficulties begin. Read More…


Grain Bin Safety Week: How Rescue Tubes and Proper Training Will Save Lives

Glen Roberts

Did you know that the pressure of engulfing grain is so powerful, that it takes more than 1,500 pounds of force to free a body submerged under less than two feet of grain?

I must admit that although Cleveland Vibrator has supplied Industrial Vibrators and Equipment to the grain and feed industry for many decades, I was not aware until I took the Asmark Safety Course how many folks are trapped, injured or killed inside grain silos and feed mills. A lot of the grain safety training applies to just about all industries and mirrors the manufacturing industry, which I have  worked in and been associated for over 45 years. Two major things I picked up from this training were:

  1. Tag out and lock out is huge anytime you need to work on a piece of equipment, or when you are in an area that normally has running equipment.
  2. Checking your tools to make sure they are in good working order which includes inspection of the guards and making sure you have no frayed electrical cords. Generally, this is just good work ethics  in any work environment. Read More…

Quit Throwing Away Money! Check Screening Powder Coating Solutions That Saves You Cash.

Jeff Hochadel

Powder coaters know the importance of utilizing a powder coating that is free from any contaminants or oversize particles. This would include the end user and the  powder coating manufacturer. Typical powder coating applications can leave up to 20% of the original powder either to be recycled or swept up and thrown out in the trash. Depending on the application this can be like throwing money out with the garbage.

Over the years we have built numerous vibratory check screeners for the powder coating end user who is interested in reclaiming the excess powder left over from a product run. Typically powder coatings are sieved in the 80-120 mesh range by the manufacturer. This mesh range is dependent on the type of powder and application where the powder is applied.  When a customer approaches me with an application involving powder coating reclaim, I first inquire about his application. Is the finish a high quality finish or coating possibly for a protective value? Secondly, is this a continuous or batch operation? This helps in determining the proper mesh size. High quality finishes require a finer mesh size while other finishes may require a coarser screen. Both will remove the contaminants inquiries range from reclaiming powder swept up from the bottom of paint booths, while also protecting applicator spray guns from blockage. Read More…


The Importance of Product Testing for Fine Mesh Screening

Jeff Hochadel

Many times a potential customer will call our office or email asking for a quote and delivery on a specific type of equipment. Our standard response involves asking the customer a series of questions ranging from what the product is, estimated throughput rates, percentage of plus and minus screen size, and others. We typically also ask for an application data sheet be filled out. All this helps remove the guess work out of equipment sizing.  Sometimes the customer thinks he knows what is required based on past experience or what someone else has told him he needs. While many times these assumptions may be correct, we want to make sure what we sell the customer will ultimately meet or exceed their expectations. While filling out forms and asking questions definitely assists in proper screener selection, I have found asking for a sample of the product for in house testing eliminates all the guess work out of the equipment selection process. If time permits and the customer requires we can also send out a demonstration model for a short in-house testing period.

Running tests on a sample or sending out a demonstration model will ultimately remove all the guess work out of equipment selection. Read More…


Ultrasonic Sieving Solutions For Product Contamination Complications

Jeff Hochadel

If you are familiar with ultrasonic sieving and have concerns over contamination of your product then this blog will grab your attention. Recently one of our customers approached us with a difficult request. They needed to have an ultrasonic screener  that consisted of 100% stainless steel contact parts.  A traditional screener consisting of all stainless steel contact parts did not produce the yield and throughput needed for their process and inquired about providing a screener with ultrasonics. This request included the screen frame and the sieving surface (wire mesh) had to be free of any adhesives, etc..

Since our standard ultrasonic frames are machined aluminum this posed a challenge for us. Although we have tried making stainless steel screen frames in the past, the density of the stainless gave us some issues in transmitting out ultrasonics through the frame and across the screen surface. The second requirement of the screen surface being clear of any transducers which was an easy one for us since we currently do not attach our  Read More…

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