How Do Y Strainers Work?

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Today’s industries use various devices to make daily operations smoother and more convenient. It is essential to understand them when deciding which one to use. Understanding the specific purpose and differences of a particular type of strainer helps the workers decide if they are employing the appropriate tools.

Y strainers are no exception to this requirement. Industries should consider using this tool if they look for a more flexible option. Since a ball valve with strainer offers more flexibility than basket strainers, they are typically used in pipelines. But the sad part is that they have a limited installation.

Since its purpose is specific, it is ideal for certain applications. So, let’s understand the purpose, uses, and how do y strainers work to get the ideal results out of using it.

Purpose of a Y-type Strainer in Industrial Pipelines:

Like a filter, a Y strainer is also used to separate one substance from the other. But unlike a filter, it removes unwanted particles from steam, gas, and liquid using a straining element. It is typically made of wire mesh.

This mechanical process is employed in industrial pipelines to protect pumps, regulators, control butterfly valves, steam traps, meters, and other process equipment from degradation. Sometimes, these devices are designed with blow-off valves to simplify the cleaning process.

In applications where the amount of debris to be cleaned from the medium is negligible, causing extended periods between screen cleanings, the strainer screen is manually cleaned. This process is carried out by shutting off the line and removing the strainer cap.

But in applications involving heavier dirt loading, Y strainers are fitted with a blow-off connection, permitting to clean the screen without separating it from the strainer body. To turn a strainer into a self-cleaning one, a user may install a valve on the connection on the cap. It makes it convenient to clean a screen by simply opening and closing the valve without shutting down the flow or disassembling the device.

A Y strainer is ideal for various industries and applications. That’s why it is available in various materials and customization, carried out on a case-by-case basis. For instance, carbon steel does not perform well at extremely high temperatures or pressure. So, investing in a strainer made of chrome-moly steel is suggested for steam and natural gas applications.

Advantages of Using a Y-type Strainer in Pipelines:

Industrial Pipelines
Source: Unsplash

Here are some of the most common benefits of installing a Y-type strainer in industrial pipelines:

Provides Significant Rate of Flexibility

The primary benefit of using a Y strainer in pipelines is its flexibility. Unlike a basket strainer, it can be installed either horizontally or vertically, depending on the users’ preference, and also makes the cleaning process convenient.

But in both cases, the screening element must be on the downside of the body to collect the entrapped material. It also permits easy installation of the device.

Cost-effective & Environment Friendly

A y-type strainer is a cost-effective option as users are free to reduce its size to save even more money. Before installing it, ensure it is big enough to handle the flow as a cost-effective Y strainer shows an undersized unit.

It also helps in reducing wastage by preventing the use of unnecessary materials. So, if an industry aspires to ‘go green’ or align with various government regulations, it should use these devices in its pipelines.

Manufactured Using Various Materials

Y strainers are manufactured using a variety of materials, thus allowing users plenty of options to choose from. When selecting a particular strainer for the pipelines, the user must consider the industry and the application. Whatever type of end they need is available, no questions asked.

Users can find these devices in various end connections, including welded, flanged, and threaded.

Permits Multiple Customization Options

It might surprise that users can customize a Y strainer suiting their preference. They have seemingly endless options compared to other devices used in industrial pipelines and cryogenic valves. However, one must ensure the design of a Y strainer is appropriate for use if one wants the system to succeed.

Protects Downstream Process Systems

Y strainers are extensively used in various liquid straining applications to shield the downstream process system component against debris. It is used in chemical processing, marine, petroleum, and power generation industries.

Working of a Y-type Strainer in Industrial Pipelines:

Y strainers are ideal for installing in various systems, mainly in the liquid and steam chambers. However, when purchasing it for steam service, always notify the supplier about the application so that they supply the type that works the best. In most cases, the users are given special housing for steam works.

As the liquid flows through the Y strainer, its screen obstructs the flow and collects the debris in the liquid before continuing the process. This obstruction causes the pressure of the liquid to drop, commonly referred to as pressure drop. Now, the draining plug made of two metal plates forms a seal that prevents the liquid medium from flowing out of the chamber. It helps in keeping the filtered and unfiltered liquid from mixing.

Following this, the mesh on the strainer traps the impurities present in the liquid and prevents them from entering other parts of the system. It typically works in high-velocity systems where the pressure can go up to 6000 PSI.

We hope everyone understands how y strainers work in keeping the dirt particles from entering the main parts of the system and protecting the industrial pipelines. Compared to a basket strainer, a Y strainer is a better choice, especially the ones involving pressure up to 1500 PSI.

There are multiple ways of connecting a Y strainer to a 3 way ball valve. The users can access either thread it or bolt it to the flange. But its installation depends on the type of material used in the device, such as stainless steel, carbon, bronze, iron, and cast iron.

Different Applications of a Y-type Strainer in Pipes:

Coal Power Plant
Source: Unsplash

Here are some of the most common and varied applications employing a Y strainer in the pipes:

Steam Applications

Y-type strainers are typically used in industries requiring constant protection of the pipelines from debris and other unwanted or harmful materials. But it is most commonly used in steam applications because of its shape. It allows for smooth and convenient handling of high pressure endured by the steam applications.

Applying 1500 psi or higher steam pressures, strainers made of carbon steel are unsuitable because the temperature may be 1000 degrees F or higher. In such circumstances, strainers made of chrome-moly steel are employed.

Liquid Applications

Sand and gravel are the two typical types of debris posing a significant threat to industrial pipes. Since these particles are usually found in a liquid medium flowing through a concentric butterfly valve, it is crucial to protect them using a Y strainer.

In industries, Y strainers are often used in liquid applications to protect the equipment from such debris, thus keeping them undamaged and unclogged for an extended period. In water handling applications, Y strainers protect the industrial equipment from damage and clogging because of unwanted sand, gravel, and other debris.

Gas & Air Application

A Y strainer is regarded as the standard for steam applications. It is also used in natural gas and air applications due to its ability to withstand high temperatures and pressure levels, similar to steam applications. The cylindrical and compact design of these devices contributes to their sturdy build.

To get the most out of this strainer, the users must keep the specificities of different applications and industries in mind. By checking its design closely, one can make this device eligible for handling pressures up to 6000 psi. In natural gas and air applications, strainers made of carbon steel and sufficient wall thickness can suffice.

For critical applications, a Y strainer must be designed adequately. The device should have a heavy wall thickness and a blow-off connection.

Keeping this point in check is essential because condensate can collect in low points in improperly trapped steam lines and become a slug of water, traveling at high velocity down the line. A slight change in direction because of the strainer can produce a tremendous shock, thus damaging the device.

Due to this reason, manufacturers must not thin down the strainer lines to save weight and cost.

Types of Materials Used for Making a Y Strainer:

Industrial Welder
Source: Unsplash

Here are some of the most common types of materials used for manufacturing a Y-type strainer:

Carbon Steel

One may use a carbon steel Y strainer in the oil and petrochemical industry as they offer excellent mechanical and thermal shock resistance. The occurrence of a shock in an industry is a vital consideration during a fire. It is also because most oil refiners don’t permit using iron piping components.

Stainless Steel

A stainless steel Y strainer is ideal for high corrosion resistance applications and in situations where freedom from contamination is vital. These devices are extensively used in the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries, and a floating ball valve.

Parting Words

We hope this blog helps everyone understand the working of a Y-type strainer in industrial pipelines to protect them from unwanted particles. It is one of the most common types found in piping systems. Although there are several types of strainers available in the market today, only a Y-type is easy to install, allowing the users to start up their systems right away.

Users can find a Y strainer in multiple customizations. But the most common one out of them all is made of stainless steel. Depending on the needs of their system, users can purchase a Y strainer accordingly. Everyone looking to purchase a quality and long-lasting Y strainer may contact us.