Material classification is the separation of particles based upon their weight, size, and shape. The first classification devices were invented in around 1500 BC, but classification is still an important element of the modern powder processing industry. There are three types of classifiers. They are:
Sifters use metallic screens to classify particles. Particles that are not the correct shape, or are too large, will not move through the screen, but those that are the right shape size will. Those that move through the screen will be collected on one side of the screen. Those that do not move through the screen will be collected on the other side of the screen. This separates the particles, thereby classifying them.
Cyclone classifiers use wheels with holes cut into them to classify materials. The faster the wheel spins, the smaller the opening that is created by the hole cut into it. Particles that are too large will not be able to get through the wheel, while particles that are small enough will. This separates and classifies the particles.
Gravity classification uses suction to classify materials. Particles that are light enough will be removed from the rest of the material through suction, while particles that are heavy will remain. This classifies the particles by weight, but not by density, size, or shape.
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