Typically made of metal wire mesh, strainers are available in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Strainers are familiar utilities in consumer products contexts; they can be used to separate solids and liquids during cooking, they can be used in cleaning pools and they are used in sinks to prevent pipe clogging. But strainers are also important commercial and industrial utilities, particularly in the context of liquid filtration. Strainers are just one example of the many different varieties of liquid filters available to industrial and commercial operations.
Filtration is an important step in a wide variety of industrial processes, including water filtration and purification at wastewater treatment facilities, oil reclamation and cleansing, petrochemical development and a host of other operations. A large percentage of all hydraulic system failures are a result of impurities and unwanted particles that are present in the hydraulic fluid. Strainers are used for hydraulic fluid in order to ensure smooth operation of the system. Hydraulic power is used in many different machines and mechanisms in industrial, construction, military, agricultural, and automotive industries.
The different names assigned to liquid filters are often used interchangeably. Bag filters, which are among the most common filter varieties, can sometimes be referred to as strainers. This is true especially in reference to bags with low filtration standards. The word “strainer” is usually used in reference to a filtering tool that features a comparatively low level of filtration. A reverse osmosis water filter, for example, would never be referred to as a strainer, first because the degree of filtration in a reverse osmosis filter is very high, and second because the filtering performed by such tools happens on a microscopic scale.
Strainers are employed in the filtration of larger particles from a flow. In the production of dairy products, for example, strainers with large pores separate unwanted large particles from milk while allowing desired, smaller particles to remain. Strainers can be constructed out of many different materials; in heavy-duty applications, they tend to be made of metal and formed into a mesh. In lighter-duty applications, they are often made of fabric.