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Separating or screening: which term should I use?

Though the terms ‘separating’ and ‘screening’ are often used to refer to different processes in an industrial materials processing sense, the two are “essentially one and the same”, according to iBulk Solutions managing director, Tony Webber.

According to Webber, industrial companies have many descriptions to refer to separating or screening, but this has caused confusion about which term should be used in the case of solids processing and which should be used when referring to liquids processing.

“There always seems to be some confusion surrounding what exactly we are talking about when it comes to describing the process of separation and this tends to stem from that fact that there are a number of words that are frequently used to describe the process,” said Webber.

“Some industries are familiar with the terminology separating whilst others would speak of screening, but essentially they are one and the same.”

According to Webber, the following list of terms can be used to refer to the ‘separating’ process: separation or separating; screening; sorting; sieving or sifting; sorting; and filtering.

The outcomes of these sorts of separating are most likely to be: size or sizing; dewater; drain and rinse; and washing, Webber said.

However, for those working in the processing industry, it is imperative to be aware of the various terminologies used.

“In every case there are people who will not divert from their pet terminology,” said Webber.

“As a stakeholder in this industry it is essential to be flexible and adaptive to the way this process of sorting different particles into different sizes is referred.

“For example, in the dry bulk solid industry the term filtering is not common as this is more applicable to solid/liquid separation.”

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