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Guidelines for The Preparation of

Strainer Specification- Part 1

Topics covered1.

What is a strainer


What is the requirement of a strainer in a system


Identification of Strainers in various documents and preferred location of Strainer


Various types of Strainers & their functions


Definition of Strainer element and its Basis of Selection


Material of construction of Strainer and Strainer element


Pressure Rating and End Connection details


Layout aspects to be considered during Installation of Strainers


Sample Strainer Specification


What is a strainer
It is a device used in Piping Systems, its function being to arrest foreign particles like dirt, weld sputter, scale etc upstream of
rotating equipment such as compressors, turbines, pumps, rotary instruments, steam traps etc.


What is the requirement of a strainer in a system

Rotating equipment such as centrifugal compressors, turbines, pumps etc and also rotary instruments such as PD meters,
turbine meters operate on narrow clearance between static and rotating part.
Also inline items like traps, spray nozzles have minute openings for the flow medium as required for the operation.
In the above cases the efficiency and function of the equipment or device are largely hampered if they encounter foreign
particles of unacceptable size.
Hence in order to avoid such an occurrence a device called strainer is warranted in a system upstream of such critical items.


Identification of Strainers in various documents and preferred

location of Strainer
Strainers are identified broadly in Basic Engineering Documents such as P&IDs by Process Licensor. Strainers are also
identified in Process Licensors Piping Specification.
However strainers subsequently get added in a System by the discipline who establishes the warranty of strainer upstream of
items handled by them.

Following are a few examples citing location of strainer and originating Department.
Upstream of turbine meters/ PD metersInstrument


Originating Department

As shown in the P&IDS

Process Licensor / Process

Upstream of centrifugal, reciprocating pumps


Upstream of centrifugal compressors, turbines etc.


Upstream of fuel oil burner within furnace, boiler, incinerator etc


Upstream of spray nozzle


Upstream of stream trap, safety shower/eyewash unit




Various types of Strainers & their functions

They are broadly divided into two categories.

4.1 Temporary Strainer

4.2 Permanent Strainers
Refer following Table and Attachment I depicting most commonly used Strainer under the above mentioned types :

Types of strainers Attachment I

4.1.1 Temporary Strainers
These are designed for short periods of application for example fitted during start up period of a new system, or when restarting a system after shut-down and maintenance.
These are also used in cases where the characteristics of the process fluid does not permit usage of a permanent strainer.
Temporary strainers are selected based on the type either depicted in the P&ID by Process Licensor or at place such as
upstream of pumps where such requirement is not indicated in the P&ID, in order to safeguard the equipment during start up
or after a prolonged shutdown.
They are intended to remove coarse debris particles present in the System. After a suitable period in use, they are removed
and they can be cleaned and stored for future use.
Strainers of this type are normally designed with standard flange faces so that they can be fitted at a suitable removed the gap
can be compensated by either pulling up the flange (for small bore flexible piping) or by inserting a spacer flange and gasket.
(Refer attachment I).
Specifying a particular type of temporary strainer depends also on the configuration of the Piping System.
Temporary strainers are of the following types:
a) Flat Disc Type
These are normally perforated plates.
b) Conical Basket Type
These may be of perforated plate with supported wire mesh. They have higher dirt capacity, normally have a lower pressure
drop and provide fine filtering.
c) T-Type Strainer

Where fitting of above strainers is difficult or impartial on a particularly configured Piping System, T-Type Strainer can be used
which can be inserted to match a blind on one side T-junction fitting in the pipeline and can be also easily removed. These
strainers are of a through shape, referred to as bath tub strainers.
4.1.2 Permanent Strainers
These are of the following types:
a) Y-Type Strainers
These are of Y-Type configuration with a cylindrical strainer element housed in Y-Leg of Strainer. They can be used both in
horizontal and vertical (down flow) lines. The element is retained by a plug end which can be opened for cleaning the
element. In order to facilitate quick clean out without removing the element a drain connection with a valve is provided as part
of Y Leg.
These are generally used in pipelines upto 150NB to 200NB in size. The Y-pattern offers lesser resistance to the flow and
hence lowers the pressure drop. The limitation of this type of strainer is its limited filtration area, hence it is used on a clean
fluid where the necessity of cleaning the strainer is infrequent.
b) Basket Type Strainers
On larger pipelines basket type strainers are preferred. These may be of inline or off line type. The principal advantages of
basket strainers is that they can provide greater dirt holding capacity and can have easier access for removal of the strainer
for cleaning. They, do however, normally have a higher pressure drop than simple Y-Type Strainers.
These are generally used with liquids wherein regular or frequent cleaning is required.
Basket strainers may be further divided into the following types :
i. Single Sieve
Wherein only one basket doers the filtration, suitable where the dirt load is not very high and high pressure drop is
ii. Double Sieve
Wherein two baskets work in parallel, suitable for high flow rates and if high pressure drop is not permissible. This is achieved
by providing a larger filtration area in comparison to single sieve design.
iii. Multi-Sieve Basket
This design has a number of sieves arranged in telescopic design so that large filtration area can be provided in a small
For highly viscous application the strainers can be steam jacketed so that the hot flow viscosity fluid is easily filtered and a
lower pressure drop is registered.
For removal of ferrous particles the basket strainer may have as special requirement magnetic inserts so that the ferrous
particles are attracted to the suspend magnetic inserts.
c) Duplex or Dual Type Strainers
These are desired when a continuous operation is required and a shut-down is not possible. The duplex design facilitates
cleaning of one element while the other is in operation.

This is generally preferred for highly viscous fluids such as fuel oil where chances of impurities are fairly higher as compared
to other fluids.
The basket type strainer covered above can be converted into duplex type by :
i. Interconnecting two strainers covered by 2 numbers of 3-way valves for compact design or
ii. By interconnecting two strainers by 4 nos. 2-way gate valves.
d) Catridge Type Filters
Are produced in a wide variety of configurations and material of construction. Filter media includes yarns, felts, papers, resin,
bonded fibres and woven wire cloth.
The filter element (actual catridge) of a catridge filter is normally designed as a disposable component to be replaced with a
new one when clogged.
e) Self Clearing Strainers
These may be used as an alternative to duplex types where continuous supply is critical in a process system.
Cleaning may be by using a brush or a scraper to comb out solid particles accumulated around catridge stack which will get
deposited in the sump.
Motorised self cleaning strainers can be used when :
a) Constant pressure drop is desired
b) Strainer is inaccessible for manual maintenance
c) The fluid is too viscous
d) The plant is costly and a shut-down is out of the question.
These are being handled by Mechanical Department.


Definition of Strainer element and its Basis of Selection

The strainer element is the heart of all types of strainers. Its selection in terms of material of construction, area, mesh size etc
is the key to prove its efficiency. Refer table below showing assumption for selection of strainer element.


Type of Strainer

Type of Element

Size Range

Filtration Area

Flat Disc

Perforated Plates

Coarse 1/8

Less than pipe cross section




20 to 200 mesh

Refer DPG Standard More

than pipe cross section area

T Type

Half cone shaped

20 to 200 mesh

Y Type


20 to 200 mesh

Basket Type


Upto 2 micron



Upto 2 micron



Filtration Upto 0.2


Self Cleaning

Plate type with

cleaning blade

Filtration Upto 25

6. Material of construction of Strainer and Strainer element

The material of construction of the strainer and strainer element must be keeping in view compatibility with the process
fluid being handled. As a general rule MOC of strainer body is specified in line with relevant piping material spec code and
the element material is specified at least equivalent or superior to the body material.
The following Table is prepared as a general guideline for specifying material, based on what is offered as Standard product
of the manufacturer:


Type of

Body Material

Element Material

Flat Disc

Carbon Steel/Bronze,
Stainless Steel


Sheet material of SS, CS or

Brass with SS Wire mesh


T Type

Carbon Steel/ Stainless


Y Type

CS-A105 or A105

Stainless Steel

Size 15 to 40 NB
Forged Construction

SS-A182 Gr
Bronze ASTM B62


For potable Water

and instrument air

Y Type or
Basket Type

CS-A216 Gr WCB
SS-A351 Cr CF 8
Cast Iron-A126 CLB
IS 210 Gr 20
IS 2002 Gr FG 200

Stainless Steel

Size 50 to 100 NB
Cast Construction

Basket Type

Pipe Material
A53 Gr B,A106 Gr B
Plate Material
A515 Gr 60, IS 2062
Is 2992 Gr 2A

Stainless Steel

200 NB and above

Generally for Utility
Services Welded

Duplex Type

Carbon Steel
Seamless Pipe
Viz., 106 Cr B

Stainless Steel


Same as Basket type

Body Material

Honey Comb Wound With

cotton, fibers glass,
polypropylene, nylon yarn
on GI/SS 304/SS 316

For cast iron strainers, bolts, studs and nuts shall conform to ASTM A307 Gr B or equivalent where as for steel trainers,
bolts and studs shall conform to ASTM A193 Gr. B7 or equivalent and nuts to ASTM A194 Gr. 2H or equivalent.

7. Pressure Rating and End Connection details

The pressure rating of the strainer shall be identical to that of other piping components used in a system such as valves etc.
related to the specific fluid covered under the relevant piping Spec Code.
Similarly end connection details shall be akin to whatever applicable to inline piping components like valves as covered in
the relevant Spec Code.


Type of

Pressure Rating

End Connection

Upto 250 PSI, 435F



Upto 150 PSI, 400F

Material /size range

Gun metal body

Screwed Ends

Size 15 to 40 NB

Flanged Ends

Size 50 NB & above

Cast iron body

Flanged Ends

Size 50 NB & above

Screwed Ends

Size below 50 NB

Class 800

Basket Type

Forged CS Body
Socket Weld Ends

Size 15 NB to 40 NB

600PSI, 850F

Flanged Ends

Cast Carbon SteelBody

size50 NB & above

1400 PSI, 1004F

Socket Weld Ends

Alloy Steel Body

Size 15 NB to 25 NB

150 Class & above

Flanged Ends

CS Body
Size 50 NB & above

8. Layout aspects to be considered during Installation of Strainers

8.1. Y-Type Strainer to be properly installed as per flow direction. Sufficient clear space to be provided in all strainers to
facilitate easy removal of mesh element for cleaning purpose.
8.2. In large basket type strainers cover to be provided with a davit arrangement for ease in opening. Alternatively, monorail
beam to be envisaged in the layout.
8.3. Be low drains of basket strainers sufficient clearance to be provided for drainage.
8.4. For temporary cone type strainers break off flanges (spool piece) to be considered for ease in removal.
8.5. Temporary conical strainers are to be placed with the cone pointing opposite to the direction of flow.
9. Pressure Drop across a Strainer / Mesh Number
The mesh is effectively the number of opening per (25.4 mm) linear inch measured from the center of one wire to another
one inch from it. Mesh numbers range from 2 to 400.
Hence the mesh number is an indication of the operative opening size, higher the mesh number smaller the opening and
higher the pressure drop. Liquids which are more viscous when used with finer meshes create increased pressure drop.
Perforated plate strainers provide coarse filtration to above 150 microns. Finer filtering wire mesh elements are normally
used, in conjunction with perforated plates for reinforcement. Wire mesh strainers can provide filtration down to about 40
Attachment II gives an idea of aperture sizes based on various mesh numbers.
Numerically the service life of a strainer (between cleaning times) can be expressed as the ratio of open area of the strainer
to the pipe cross section. Open area is determined by choice of perforations or mesh.
Basket type strainers shall have a minimum free flow area of 1.5 times the cross sectional area and all Y-type strainers
would have a minimum free flow area of twice the bore cross sectional area.
Thus specifying mesh number would depend on :
a) The smallest particle size to be filtered

b) The allowable pressure drop

Generally the allowable pressure drop across a clean filter is specified as 0.01 kg/cm 2 (g) and across la clogged filter as 0.5
kg/cm2 (g).
The viscosity of a fluid at working temperature is also to be specified since higher the viscocity higher the pressure drop.
The data for Mesh No. and Pressure Drop if not given in the Process Licensors Documentation is to be confirmed with
Process Department.
Vendors are to provide pressure drop versus flow rate curves for all the strainers for clean condition as well as 50% clogged

9. Sample Strainer Specification

Before commencing on preparation of strainer specification the first step involves identifying the types of strainers and
quantifying the number of strainers from the P&IDS. Alternatively Strainers can be included in Piping MTO for
quantification purpose.
The following gives the user an idea for the input sources for specifying a Strainer.

Tag no

To suit Special Material Index & P&ID


As per P&ID or to suit the purpose

Size mm NB Line Strainer

As per P&ID Line Size to be specified By vendor

Quantity (N.)

As per P&ID or Material Status Report.

End Connection

To suit Type & Size and Pipe Spec

Flange Facing and Finish

To suit Pipe Spec

Strainer Element Size (mm2)

To be specified by Vendor

Mesh Number

To be obtained from Process Dept.

Piping Spec

As per Line Designation / P&ID

Line Number / Location

As per P&ID

P&ID No.

As per P&ID


Same as Vendor (To be incorporated at the time of Order

Specification after receipt of LOI/Purchase order from clients).

Manufacturer Drawing No.

Same as above

Dimension face to face And

center line to Bottom

As per Piping Layout

Body Material

To suit Type & Size and Piping Spec.

Mesh Material

To suit Piping Specification (equivalent or superior to body



As per Piping Spec


As per Piping Spec


As per Piping Spec


As per Piping Spec

Service Fluid

As per Piping Spec Index.

Design Flow Rate

To be obtained from Process Dept. Alternatively it can be

obtained from the Process Data Sheet of the equipment for which
the Strainer is warranted.

Design Pressure

As per Piping Spec Index.

Design Temperature

As per piping Spec Index.

Density at Operating Temp


To be obtained from Process Dept.

Viscosity at Operating Temp.

To be obtained from Process Dept.

Maximum Allowable
Pressure Drop across clean

Generally specified as 0.01 kg/cm2(g). However the same to be

confirmed with Process Department

Hydrostatic TestTest

1.5 times the Design Pressure

For basket strainers on pump suction it is advisable to calculate the design pressure based on operating conditions to
establish hydro test pressure at shop or site in order to avoid a robust strainer construction which may be unacceptable to
The following special requirements are to be observed by Vendor.
1 Vendors are to provide pressure drop versus flow rate curves for all the strainers for clean conditions as well as 50%
clogged condition.
2 Supporting of Large Strainers:
All basket strainers 200 NB and above are to be provided with leg supports and above 500 NB, 3 legs are required.
Depending on layout constraints and foundation requirement the limitation on the maximum distance between bottom
face of leg support and center line of nozzle is to be specified as also the distance between center line of nozzle and drain
3 Drains & Vents
All basket strainers are to be provided with drain plugs and vent cocks. If Valves are to be used and are not in vendors
scope then vendor to be informed of the appropriate end connections required.
4 Tag No to be clearly identified.