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# KYAMBOGO UNIVERSITY

FACULTY OF SCIENCE

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY

## BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

YEAR 4, SEMESTER 1

PRACTICALS

## NAME; WAVAMUNNO LAWRENCE

SIGNATURE…………

ABSTRACT
This report shows how the average size of sand can be determined by sieve analysis and the use
of the fineness modulus. A graph was obtained from the results of the experiment and hence
the average size of the particles was able to be determined.

## TITLE: DETERMINATION OF AVERAGE SIZE OF SAND BY SIEVE ANALYSIS

USING A SIEVE SHAKER.
AIM: TO DETERMINE THE AVERAGE SIZE OF SAND BY SIEVE ANALYSIS.
INTRODUCTION;
Particle size is a notion introduced for comparing dimensions of solid particles
(flecks), liquid particles (droplets), or gaseousparticles (bubbles). The notion of particle size
applies to colloidal particles, particles in ecology, particles present in granular
material (whether airborne or not), and particles that form a granular material (see also grain
size). It represents degree of fineness which may have resulted from operations involving size
reduction. The particle size is related to the specific surface area of the product. During
construction, the particle size of sand determines the strength of the mortar.
The Fineness modulus (FM), which is going to be used in this experiment, is an empirical
figure obtained by adding the total percentage of the sample of an aggregate retained on each
of a specified series of sieves, and dividing the sum by 100 as seen below.

THEORY;
A sieve analysis (or gradation test) is a practice or procedure used to assess the particle size
distribution (also called gradation) of a granular material by allowing the material to pass
through a series of sieves of progressively smaller mesh size and weighing the amount of
material that is stopped by each sieve as a fraction of the whole mass.
The size distribution is often of critical importance to the way the material performs in use. A
sieve analysis can be performed on any type of non-organic or organic granular materials
including sands, crushed rock, clays, granite, feldspars, coal, soil, a wide range of
manufactured powders, grain and seeds, down to a minimum size depending on the exact
method.
During sieving, the material (sand) is subjected to horizontal movement, this causes a relative
movement between particles and the sieve. Depending on their sizes, the individual particles
either pass through the sieve mesh or are retained on the sieve surface. The likelihood of a
particle passing through the sieve mesh is determined by the ratio of the particle size to the
sieve openings, the orientation of the particle and the number of encounters between the
particle and the mesh openings. It also depends on the time taken during sieving. The sieve
analysis method determines the fineness modulus (explained in the introduction) which
expresses the average grain size of sand.
Mechanical shaker used for
sieve analysis.

The most common method of estimation of particle size of sand is to pass the sand through a
set of sieves which determines the fineness modulus. The average particle size is given by the
formula;
𝑫 = 𝟎. 𝟎𝟎𝟒𝟏 (𝟐)𝑭𝑴
Where FM is the fineness modulus

REQUIREMENTS;
 Sieve set of size 10, 20, 40, 50, 80, 100 and a pan.
 Ro-Tap sieve shaker.
 Weighing machine (0-1000g)

PROCEDURE;
1. Sieves were arranged from top to bottom in decreasing order of opening with the pan at
the bottom.
2. 500g of dry sand were taken and placed in the top sieve and closed with a lid.
3. The sieve set was placed in a Ro-Tap sieve shaker and time was set for 15 minutes.
4. The sieve set was taken out from the Ro-Tap machine.
5. The material which was retained on each sieve was weighed with the pan inclusive and
the results were recorded.
RESULTS AND CALCULATIONS;
Table 1
Sieve Wt. of empty Wt. of sieve + sand Wt. of material retained
S.No. No.(BSS) sieve (g) (g)
1 10 318.85 381.65 62.80
2 20 338.29 435.74 97.45
3 40 369.69 528.66 158.97
4 50 322.48 375.70 53.22
5 80 324.44 395.70 71.26
6 100 329.00 348.60 19.60
7 pan 286.54 321.75 35.21

Table 2
Sieve size Wt of material retained, %material
S.No. Sieve No. (BSS) (mm) g retained
1 10 1.7 62.80 12.56
2 20 0.71 97.45 19.49
3 40 0.425 158.97 31.794
4 50 0.3 53.22 10.644
5 80 0.18 71.26 14.252
6 100 0.15 19.60 3.92
7 Pan 35.21 7.042

Table 3
S.No. Sieve No. % material retained Cumulative %
(BSS) retained
1 10 12.56 12.56
2 20 19.49 32.05
3 40 31.794 63.844
4 50 10.644 74.488
5 80 14.252 88.74
6 100 3.92 92.66
7 Pan 7.042 99.702
∑(𝑐𝑢𝑚𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑑 𝑜𝑛 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑓𝑖𝑒𝑑 𝑠𝑖𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑠)
𝐹𝑀 =
100

## 𝐹𝑀 = (12.56 + 32.05 + 63.84 + 74.488 + 88.74 + 92.66)/100 = 𝟑. 𝟔𝟒

𝐷 = 0.0041 (2)𝐹𝑀
𝐷 = 0.0041 (2)3.6 = 𝟎. 𝟎𝟓𝟏𝟏inches

## A GRAPH OF PERCENTAGE OF MATERIAL RETAINED AGAINST SIEVE

SIZE
35

30

25
% material retained

20

15

10

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8
Sieve size (mm)

DISCUSSION OF RESULTS;
From the table and the graph above, it is noticed that the 40 BSS sieve is found to retain the
highest percentage of the sand particles and the 100 BSS sieve is found to retain the least
percentage of the sand particles. From the variation of particle sizes, it’s also noticed that the
sand contained more coarse particles than fine particles.
Application of particle size analysis
- Used in asthma puffers
- Applied in cement production
- Used in the production of ceramics
- Applied in the industry
- Applied in the production of plastics

SOURCES OF ERROR;
 The Ro-Tap sieve shaker was not working properly, the top cover would fall in and
some particle would fall out while replacing it.
 Inaccurate weighing of the weighing balance as many individuals were surrounding it
in the process of weighing.

RECOMMENDATION;
 The weighing balance should be covered well to prevent disturbances from the external
environment.
 The weighing of samples should be carried out from an isolated room with a few
individuals present so as to give accurate results.
 The sieve lid should be able to cover the sieve well such that during the sieve operation
the sand doesn’t fall out.

CONCLUSION;
From this experiment, sieves can be used to determine the average size of sand by separating
both coarse and fine aggregates into different particle sizes. The sieves are made of different
mesh sizes hence they determine which size aggregate falls through to the next, making it
possible to determine average size. Gradation affects many properties of an aggregate like the
bulk density physical stability and permeability.
REFERENCES;
- Coulson and Richardson · (1991) · Chemical Engineering Vol-3.4th Edition.
-Warren L. McCabe, Julian C. Smith ∙ (1993) ∙ Unit operations of Chemical engineering (Fifth edition) ∙
International Editions

## -Kevin Dunn ∙ (2014) ∙ Separation processes ∙ (4th edition)

-M.S. Mamlouk and J.P. Zaniewski,· (1999) · Materials for Civil and Construction Engineers ·