Y-Strainers are devices for mechanically removing unwanted solids from liquid, gas or steam lines by means of a perforated or wire mesh straining element. They are used in pipelines to protect pumps, meters, control valves, steam traps, regulators and other process equipment
Y-Strainers are very cost effective straining solutions in many applications. Where the amount of material to be removed from the flow is relatively small, resulting in long intervals between screen cleanings, the strainer screen is manually cleaned by shutting down the line and removing the strainer cap. For applications with heavier dirt loading, Y-Strainers can be fitted with a "blow-off" connection that permits the screen to be cleaned without removing it from the strainer body.
Y-Strainers are used in a wide variety of liquid straining applications to protect downstream process system components in many industries, including: chemical processing, petroleum, power generation and marine. Water handling applications, where Y-Strainers are used to protect equipment that could be damaged or clogged by unwanted sand, gravel or other debris, are very common.
While often used in many different types of liquid applications, a Y-Strainer is considered the standard for steam applications and is almost universally used for these applications. Its compact, cylindrical shape is very strong and can handle high pressures. It is, literally, a pressure vessel. Y-Strainers which handle pressures up to 6000 psi are not uncommon. Of course, in these cases, the design of the strainer is critical so that it can stand up to these high pressures without fear of failure. When high pressure steam is being handled, another complicating factor arises, temperature. With steam pressures of 1500 psi or higher, standard carbon steel is sometimes not suitable because the steam temperature may be 1000° F or higher. In these cases, the Y-Strainer body is generally made of chrome-moly steel. Besides steam, Y-Strainers are often used in air and natural gas applications. Here again, high pressures are not uncommon. However, unlike steam high air pressure does not automatically mean high temperature and so, ordinary carbon steel bodies of sufficient wall thickness will generally suffice.
Unlike other types of strainers, a Y-Strainer has the advantage of being able to be installed in either a horizontal or vertical position. Obviously, in both cases, the screening element must be on the "down side" of the strainer body so that the entrapped material can properly collect in it.