Machinery and processes that utilize steam, air, nitrogen, or natural gas depend on Y strainers. That’s because the Y strainer function removes solids and reduces the amount of equipment cleaning and maintenance required to keep the process flow steady. Here we discuss the role of stainless steel mesh, Y strainers and the critical role that the strainer’s mesh cloth plays in high performance and dependability.
A Y strainer is one of several types of inline pipe strainers used to filter utility services or process flow. The basket strainer and various duplex strainers all perform a similar function as the Y strainer, which is a Y-shaped mechanical component. All are used to separate solids (such as dirt, dust, and debris) from liquids or particulates from gaseous compounds, but the Y-strainer is unique in its applications. The strainer’s mesh does the work of capturing contaminants — therefore, the mesh selected must contain the maximum particle size that the downstream equipment can safely handle.
You will find Y strainers protecting expensive pipeline equipment such as turbines, heat exchangers, pumps, condensers, engines, and spray nozzles from harmful contaminants have entered the flow.
Y strainers allow for straight-line process flow while the filtering element (typically a stainless steel wire mesh) is positioned towards the ground. The unique Y-shape allows for process flow operations to continue when the Y strainer mesh needs to be cleaned.
The Y strainer is the most common type of process strainer used, and it plays a critical role in protecting costly mechanical equipment from rust, pipe scale, sediment, and debris. Of all the strainers available for process flow, the Y strainer performs particularly well in pressurized systems such as steam or gas lines, but they also find application in suction-type situations (or vacuums).
Y strainers are most often used when the strainer installation needs to be either horizontal or vertical within the pipeline. Also, they present a low resistance to the passage of fluids resulting in a very low-pressure drop within closed piping system. Choose a Y strainer for high-pressure applications and when there is a low concentration of foreign material expected with the process flow.
The key to a successful Y strainer installation is the selection of the right stainless-steel wire or mesh cloth. It must be fabricated to perfectly fit the precision-machined screen seat contained within the body of the strainer.
Y strainers operate very simply, collecting solids from the inline flow of a pipeline where the material is caught by a perforated metal mesh that acts as a straining element. The captured solids can be easily flushed from the screen or exhausted to the atmosphere with a blow-down valve mounted on the drain port. This facilitates the screen cleaning without removal from the process.
The size of the mesh perforations in the straining element is extremely important when selecting a y strainer. If the hole size selected is too small for the amount of process decontamination needed, you will face an excessive amount of cleaning time and maintenance. Also, a mesh hole size that is too small can cause excessive pressure drops and if the metal used to create the mesh cloth is too thin compared to the pressure within the system, the strainer may fail prematurely.
The two critical specifications of the steel wire cloth are:
Besides these two factors, you will find Y strainer manufacturers that will combine multiple features such as corrosion-resistant materials, heavy-duty construction for continuous duty, compact design for tight spaces, bolted or threaded cover options, and y strainers specifically suited for liquids, gas, or steam.
Newark Wire Cloth Company has been a leader in wire cloth design and manufacturing with a high-quality y strainer manufacturing facility that serves many markets including aerospace, pharmaceutical, food, chemical, automotive, medical, environmental, and many others.