|Authors: ||P.C. Bartley III, B.E. Jackson, W.C. Fonteno|
Knowledge of substrate particle size and shape is beneficial for reasons such as increasing product efficiency, ensuring specified standards, and maximizing plant growth.
Classification of aggregate materials has long been analyzed on the basis of sieve analysis.
Sieves work by separating aggregate materials by a particle’s 2nd smallest dimension (Allen, 1997). The material is then expressed as a cumulative or differential distribution curve which reflects the percent mass of the material retained or passed through a sieve (Weiner, 2011). Despite its simplistic nature, this is a very crude and rudimentary method of characterizing materials.
There are drawbacks to sieve analysis such as: reduced efficacy in worn screens, finite number of sieves, time consuming, data subjected to human error, and no capacity for shape parameters (Rauch et al., 2002; Vaezi et al., 2012).
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