Sieving is cost effective for particle sizes greater than 75
μ, although the technique can be used for some materials of smaller size if the method can be validated. Assuming the relevant standards and clean, wellmaintained equipment that conforms to the standards are used, sieving can provide an accurate and reproducible measure of particle size distribution within a sample.
The most common types of coal (lignite, bituminous and anthracite) are distinguished by their different chemical and physical properties. The calorific value of coal can be determined by analyzing its carbon content, for example with combustion analyzers. In addition, efficient management of the desulfurization plant requires control of the sulfur content. Compared to the large amount of coal a typical laboratory sample consists of - a 10 liter bucket or even more - the sample volume required for analysis is fairly low, only approx. 1 g. The standard DIN 51701 defines the sample amount to be tested as this relates to the particle size: The bigger the particles are, the more sample material is required.
The following situation is typical for many production plants: After a routine quality check, the production process is stopped or an already produced batch is suspended, because the analysis results were not within the relevant critical values. But does the tested product really deviate from the specifications? The quality control managers are convinced of this because modern analysis instruments provide results with very low tolerances. The sample in question was tested several times and the result was confirmed. The question is why the product does not match the specifications although the production parameters have not been changed in any way. The possibility that the tested product is indeed deficient cannot be excluded. However, it is often not the product itself which causes irregular analysis results but a lack of understanding of the steps which come before the analysis.
Considerable care must be taken when analyzing a sample like rice in order to achieve an accurate result. The major source of error when analyzing a bulk material comes not from the analytical measurement itself, but from the sample handling, i.e., sampling, sample division, grinding, digestion, etc.
A faultless and comparable analysis is closely linked to an accurate sample handling. Only a sample representative of the initial material can provide meaningful analysis results. Rotating dividers and rotary tube dividers are an important means to ensure the representativeness of a sample and thus the reproducibility of the analysis. Correct sample handling consequently minimizes the probability of a production stop due to incorrect analysis results. Thus correct sample handling is the key to effective quality control.