What Makes a Perforated Strainer Different than a Filter? Do I Need Both?

A close-up of a metal perforated strainer.

Much like you use a strainer in your kitchen to drain water from noodles or a filter to keep coffee grounds out of your morning cup of joe, both strainers and filters have their place in water, hydraulic, and oil filtration systems. They both do similar jobs—keeping contaminants from damaging parts downstream in the system—but serve different purposes.

And just like you wouldn’t use a coffee filter to drain your noodles or a strainer to make your coffee, you can’t interchange a perforated strainer and a filter in military jets or submarines. Rather, the strainer and filter work as a team to ensure your filtration efficiency is at its best—allowing for maximum performance in your aerospace, defense, or marine applications.

Fluid Conditioning Products has become a leader in precision filtration by producing high-quality, all-metal filters and strainers. Alloys such as stainless steel, bronze, and nickel alloys make a far better filtration medium than legacy materials, such as plastic or fiberglass. Unlike their counterparts, metal filters don’t shed particles that cause damage downstream. For nearly 80 years, various industries have trusted us to make a custom filter or perforated basket strainer for their water, hydraulic, and oil filtration systems.

What Does a Perforated Strainer Do?

A perforated strainer works inside a water, hydraulic, or oil system. The strainer removes contaminants from the system that would otherwise damage pumps, valves, and other critical engine or application components. For example, in military jets, a strainer basket made by FCP is used to keep tools, birds, and other debris from entering the jet engine while running on the ground.

How Is a Strainer Basket Different Than a Filter?

A metal perforated basket strainer for hydraulic systems.

The key difference between a perforated strainer and a filter is the size of the particles they remove. A basket strainer removes particles generally 100 microns or larger—things you can easily see. On the other hand, filters remove particles between three and 40 microns. These are particles you can’t see with the naked eye.

While their primary difference is the size of the contaminants they remove from the system, they can often be used together in a system. Strainers and filters can come in a duplex design, preventing large particles from damaging the media in the filter behind it. Your unique requirements will determine if you need a filter, a strainer, or both.

Another difference between a perforated strainer and a filter is that a strainer is designed for easy removal and cleaning. A strainer’s larger surface area makes it a breeze to clean, ensuring your water, hydraulic, or oil system stays free of large particles.

Can Fluid Conditioning Products Customize a Strainer?

Yes, FCP can customize a perforated strainer specific to your needs. Our all-metal strainers and filters are designed for some of the most extreme applications in the world. Because we make our strainers without using plastics, resins, or fibers, it does not break down or degrade in performance over time.

You can customize a metal strainer basket to the exact size and specifications you need. We’ve made strainers as small as 1/8th-inch and as large as six feet tall. We can also incorporate magnets into the strainer to capture metallic particles that would otherwise damage components within the system.

By using various metals for our strainers, such as stainless steel, copper-nickel, brass, and bronze, you can get a heavy-duty strainer that is perfect for your industry. Custom hole sizes can be defined using a perforated sheet or coarse wire mesh. We also take quality very seriously. As an AS9100-certified company, you can rest assured that the strainer or filter we make for you meets the highest quality assurance standards.

What Design Parameters Should I Consider for My Custom Strainer?

The key design parameters to consider are flow, pressure drop, and particle size. Strainers impact flow rates and pressure less than filters but may not capture all the contaminants a filter would remove. Some filtration environments need a strainer and a filter in duplex housing, and other circumstances may only require one or the other.

You also want to consider the size of the particles you wish to remove from the system. A strainer protects machinery from larger contaminants, while filters remove smaller particles, allowing clean fluid to pass downstream into the system.

You’ll also want to consider how frequently you can maintain the filtration system. A finer mesh strainer will need more frequent cleaning than a perforated strainer basket made from courser material.

Suppose any of this sounds confusing, or you aren’t sure about the proper parameters for your application. In that case, our filtration experts can help you make the best decisions for your industry that lead to high-performance filtration.

For the Best Metal Perforated Strainer, Contact FCP!

For those in the defense, aerospace, or marine industries, there is no room for error when it comes to the components of your machinery. Don’t choose a lower-quality strainer that isn’t up to the task of protecting your water, hydraulic, and oil filtration systems. Instead, choose an all-metal perforated strainer made by the experts at FCP.

A high-quality perforated basket strainer will outlast any fiberglass filtration elements and reduce the amount of downtime and maintenance required of your hydraulic, oil, or water systems. It will filter out unwanted particles, be easy to clean, and last longer than other legacy materials. Get started today by requesting a quote for your custom metal perforated strainer!

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