Why Do Industries Outsource Their Aluminum Powder Screening Needs?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018, 6:00 AM | 1 Comment

Aluminum powder is soft, silver and highly flammable. It burns with an extremely bright flame.

You may have seen aluminum powders at pyrotechnic displays. In the early days of photography, the photographers used aluminum powder to create the flashes.

Several fireworks still use aluminum powder to create splendid and bright displays. It finds use in mining as commercial explosives, silver metallic pigments, production of electronics, automotive industry coatings, and packaging.

Today, crime scene investigation units use aluminum powder to develop almost accurate fingerprints from non-porous and smooth surfaces. Aluminum fuel is also indispensable in the production of rocket fuel.

  • Why do only a few toll manufacturing industries undertake the effort of aluminum powder sifting?

    Now, producing powdered aluminum is not tricky. However, screening it precisely according to size via traditional methods is indeed tricky.

    Some of the industries like paint, electronics, automotive coating, commercial explosives, and rocket fuel require fine aluminum powder.

    This powder is potentially explosive, and one has to exercise caution while agitating it and sifting it. The person has to ensure that no over-sized particles find their way into the mix as well. Thus, the industry responsible for screening the powdered aluminum for a specific purpose should be able to do so with accuracy.

    Additionally, aluminum powder requires an entirely safe, inert and spark-free environment during this sifting procedure. The modern screening methods use a combination of several sifting technologies including nitrogen blanketing, grounded working bay and explosion-proof motors for everyone’s safety. Visit Toll Processing and Manufacturing to learn about the necessary safety measures.

  • What is the primary challenge of sifting aluminum powder by size?

    Once a toll manufacturing industry has the safety under control, it can then focus on the finer aspects of the project. That includes increasing the efficiency of the screening process that separates the different sizes of aluminum particles.

    Most clients of toll manufacturers rely on the precision and accuracy of their daily revenue. The presence of oversized particles can dent their reputation irreversibly. Its non-magnetic property makes it tricky to isolate and sort. The only way to correctly sort these particles is by the use of their sizes.

    Aluminum particles have varying sizes, and there is no way to predict the mass of the majority of the particles there. For example – if a client gave you a crude aluminum powder (ranging between 180-325 mesh), this is what the mass fraction analysis will look like –

    180 mesh 26%

    180 to 200 mesh 31%

    200 to 325 mesh 21%

    325 mesh 22%

There is no universal formula for the conversion of mesh size to microns. The thickness of the wires vary between industries, but the approximate conversions show that a US 10 mesh is roughly equivalent to 2000 microns and a US 325 mesh is approximately equal to 20 microns.

There are only a few toll manufacturing industries in the world with the state-of-the-art technology to screen the aluminum powder down to US 625 mesh or 20 microns. That kind of fine screening is imperative while working with commercial grade explosives for the mining industries and production of rocket fuel.

You must remember that it is easy to view the particles under the microscope and study their sizes, but it is not as easy to screen them.

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