By: Ronnie Brown on January 15th, 2021
Test Sieves for DOT Facilities (Definition, Uses, Maintenance)
Particle analysis is a reliable means of testing the size and shape of the particle that help make the world go round. The Departments of Transportation, for example, rely on particle size analysis to ensure the roads we travel and buildings we visit are safe.
A significant concern of the lab technicians conducting these sieve tests is constructing a test sieve stack that is durable enough to provide the longevity and accuracy needed to produce an efficient operation.
Doing so requires the use of the right materials. So, what does the ideal test sieve look like for a lab technician working with the department of transportation?
W.S. Tyler has provided heavy-duty test sieves to the particle analysis industry for over 140 years and is here to help ensure your test sieve stack stands the test of time.
With that, this article will cover:
- What a DOT test sieve is
- Why test sieves are important to aggregate sieve testing
- How to design the ideal test sieve for DOT application
- How to maintain your test sieve
What Is A DOT Test Sieve?
A test sieve is a wire mesh screening medium that consists of mesh opening with uniform size, shape, and spacing. These wire mesh screens are attached to frames that can be stacked on top of other sieves with variating mesh specifications.
That said, DOT sieves are no different than a typical test sieve. Instead, the term DOT test sieve refers to the use of heavy-duty materials in efforts to withstand the testing of the abrasive materials used by your Department of Transportation.
Why Are Test Sieves Important To DOT Facilities?
The Departments of Transportation's primary responsibility is regulating and setting the standards for all infrastructure projects, from patching roadways to the construction of bridges. To ensure pedestrians' safety, there are tolerances for the types of material that can be used as well as the particle size of these materials.
To put this into perspective, with any aggregate used for construction, the material is first mined in the form of large particles that must be broken down for transportation. Once the material is delivered, it gets milled down further and placed on vibratory screen for processing.
A representative sample is then taken from the screened material and tested using test sieve analysis. This allows the Department of Transportation to ensure the aggregate is within a specified size range for quality control.
As sieves for DOT applications are constructed out of durable materials, they will be able to withstand the jarring testing of aggregates and provide accurate results longer than alternative products.
Designing A Test Sieve For DOT Use
When constructing your test sieve, you have two alloy options to choose from: stainless steel and brass. With that, the most important aspect in all instances of test sieve and test sieve analysis is the mesh opening size.
The most durable solution is always going to be a stainless steel frame paired with stainless steel mesh. As brass is a softer material known to wear quicker, a stainless steel frame is less likely to get dented, and stainless steel mesh is more likely to preserve the integrity of the mesh openings.
This is particularly true when testing sharp- or jagged-edged aggregate.
This is why all brass sieve is not recommended for DOT applications. For those seeking a middle of the road option, a sieve with a brass frame and stainless steel mesh can be used.
Now, most test sieves adhere the mesh to the frame using either epoxy or solder. There is a common misconception that solder is more durable; however, if your sieves are mishandled, the solder will detach from the sieve the same way epoxy will.
The same goes for when the sieves are introduced to extreme heat. Simply put, choosing between epoxy or solder is a personal preference when the sieves are handled correctly.
Test Sieve Upkeep
Regardless of the application, when using a test sieve, you must take extra precautions not to deform it in any way. Doing so is the leading cause of loose or torn test sieve mesh, which results in inaccurate test results or sieve replacement.
Additionally, most DOTs benefit from having a control test sieve set, known as master test sieves. These sieves are not used daily and are instead used to benchmark the accuracy of the everyday laboratory test sieves.
You can (and should) also send your everyday sieves for recertification to ensure the mesh openings are within the allotted tolerances and haven't been damaged during testing.
Determine If Test Sieves Fit Your DOT Operation
The Departments of Transportation employs test sieve analysis to regulate the aggregate particles used for various infrastructural projects. Doing so allows them to guarantee our daily commutes are safe.
No matter what particles you may be testing, stainless steel will provide you with the most durability. But whether you choose brass or stainless steel, the mesh count is what's most important.
Now, the next step to determining if test sieves are right for your DOT operation is to gain a better understanding of how they will impact your budget. Having been pioneers of the particle size analysis industry for over 140 years, W.S. Tyler is here to help ensure you implement a particle analysis operation that fits your needs.
To learn about the factors that go into the cost of a test sieve, read our article: How Much Does a Test Sieve Cost? (Factors and Price Ranges + Video).
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About Ronnie Brown
Ronnie is the Content Writer for W.S. Tyler and has four years of experience as a professional writer. He strives to expand his knowledge on all things particle analysis and woven wire mesh to leverage his exceptional writing and graphic design skills, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for customers.