fine mesh powder screen

Jeff Hochadel

How to Properly Clean Fine Mesh Screens Without Damaging Your Equipment

Jeff Hochadel
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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…

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Jeff Hochadel

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

Jeff Hochadel
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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…

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Jeff Hochadel

The Nitty Gritty of 3D Printing & Powder Sieving

Jeff Hochadel
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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…

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Jeff Hochadel

Saving Green While You Screen

Jeff Hochadel
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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…

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Jeff Hochadel

How To Improve Ceramic Slurry Screening With Ultrasonics Deblinding System

Jeff Hochadel
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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…

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Jeff Hochadel

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

Jeff Hochadel
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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…

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Jeff Hochadel

The Importance of Product Testing for Fine Mesh Screening

Jeff Hochadel
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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…

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Jeff Hochadel

Ultrasonic Sieving Solutions For Product Contamination Complications

Jeff Hochadel
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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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Jeff Hochadel

Fine Powder Screening and Timely Solutions: Ultrasonic Sieving Systems

Jeff Hochadel
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Sometimes a screening application cannot be solved by simply placing the product on the sieve surface and allowing the screener to do its job. While a round screener is meant to separate product by particle size, sometimes this simple process can cause problems or damage the product. Recently, a customer inquired about fine mesh ultrasonic sieving of his solder powder. While I am no expert in the production of solder powder, I do know solder powder is generally a very spherical powder (see pic below) and sieves very well when applying ultrasonic to the screen surface. Read More…

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Jeff Hochadel

Fine Mesh Screening Problem? Optimize Your Vibratory Screening Equipment Solution

Jeff Hochadel
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Vibratory screening equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. While some are rectangular or round they all pretty much accomplish the same principal which is removing oversize particles from the desired product size. There are a number of variables that can affect the performance of the screens used on your screening equipment.  In this blog I will discuss a number of ways to optimize your vibratory screening equipment. Read More…

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