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What is Sieve Analysis?

With the use of a test sieve, you determine sieve analysis. A sieve analysis (also known as a gradation test) is a test or procedure. Commonly used in engineering, a sieve analysis assesses the particle size distribution of a granular material.
What is the point of a sieve analysis? Why does it matter?

Finding out the particle size is essential in many industries. The size will determine the way the material performs in use.

A sieve analysis will work on a multitude of materials. You can determine the particle size in the following materials:

  • Wire cloth
  • Granite
  • Crushed rock
  • Coal
  • Soil
  • Sands
  • Feldspars
  • Grain
  • Seeds

The above is not a comprehensive list. There are many organic and non-organic granular materials that will respond to a test analysis.

After you perform a test analysis, the results are presented in a graph. The sieve size scale on the graph is logarithmic. If you want to find the percent of aggregate passing through each sieve, find the percent retained in each sieve. There is a special equation used when determining this percentage. Dividing the weight of the aggregate sieve with the total weight of the aggregate and multiplying it by 100 will assist you in finding the percentage.

There are other percentages you can find out using the graph. Equations are in place to determine the cumulative passing percentage and the passing percentage.