Many clients ask us “what can a metal basket be used for?” Most of the time, this question comes largely from idle curiosity. However, at other times, the client may have a specific use in mind, and is simply looking to confirm if their custom metal basket can be used for that process.
Today, we wanted to share a list of five common uses for metal baskets, whether they’re wire mesh or perforated sheet metal to help answer this question for you.
Use #1: Parts/Materials Handling
We’ll start with one of the most common uses for a custom container: the movement of parts and/or materials from one place to another.
Baskets made for this purpose can actually take a number of forms and require many different types of design considerations based on the nature of the part or material being moved. For example, moving a delicate part that must not be scuffed or otherwise damaged would require a basket that is more form-fitting or has a thick coating of a softer material (such as a soft PVC) that would not cause damage to the part from contact.
On the other hand, transporting a large amount of a loose material would require a basket design that limits the amount of openings from which the material in question could leak or spill.
In both cases, design features such as handles, caster wheels, or thick reinforcements of the frame are commonly added to make handling easier. Many of the wire mesh baskets made by Marlin are used for parts handling for delicate parts, while sheet metal baskets are more common for transporting loose materials.
Use #2: Aqueous Parts Cleaning
Another very common use for metal baskets is in aqueous parts cleaning processes. These processes call for parts to be immersed completely in a cleaning agent, which naturally calls for a basket design that is as open as possible. On top of that, the basket needs to be able to withstand repeated exposure to potentially caustic chemicals. Using the right grade of steel and supplementing it with corrosive-resistant coatings can be an enormous help here.
Here, the most common type of basket used is the wire mesh basket. The reason for this is that it is easier to create a lot of open space with wire mesh than with perforated sheet metal, and the rounded wires help the aqueous solution drain away completely, preventing deposits from settling in the basket.
Use #3: Vapor Degreasing
Here’s a use that laymen might not know, but that manufacturers are all too familiar with. Vapor degreasing, in general, calls for a part to be exposed to some very tough conditions to get shop grease and sludge off of it.
In this process, allowing the runoff to drain away completely is a must. Because of this, wire mesh baskets are very common in these processes. High corrosion and temperature resistant alloys are commonly used for vapor degreasing baskets. Generally speaking, the wire mesh baskets used for vapor degreasing tend to have thicker wires than their aqueous cleaning counterparts in order to make these baskets sturdier.
Use #4: Ultrasonic Cleaning
For the most part, ultrasonic cleaning processes tend to have a lot in common with aqueous wash processes. The part is typically immersed in a cleaning solution during this process, which demands that the solution be able to both reach the part easily, and drain away completely.
One of the things that separates an ultrasonic cleaning process from an ordinary aqueous wash process is the use of ultrasound vibrations in a range of frequencies that can “tear” the solution apart and create countless miniscule bubbles (a process known as cavitation). Higher frequencies make for more detailed cleaning. There is a lot more to the science behind this process, but this basic explanation gets the basic idea across.
The cleaning solution in ultrasonic cleaning can be ordinary water, water with a cleaning solution, or even a special organic solution. The big benefit of using ultrasonic cleaning is that it can minimize the need for excessive amounts of harsh chemicals to get a part clean compared to a simple aqueous wash process.
Use #5: High-Temperature Sanitation/Sterilization
In order to be used for medical applications, tools and other medical equipment needs to be germ-free. As a part of ensuring that scalpels, needles, and medication bottles alike are 100% contaminant free, many medical supply companies use sterile labs for the creation of their products, and make sure to sanitize products thoroughly before packaging is complete.
This is a major health/safety concern for manufacturers of medical goods.
Baskets for these medical-grade sanitation processes need to:
- Be able to withstand high temperatures.
- Allow any sanitation agents to reach the parts/tools being sanitized.
- Be designed to prevent the accumulation of debris or germs.
- Prevent damage to the parts/tools being sanitized.
Lives literally depend on the safety and quality of medical goods, and the baskets used to hold such goods through a high temperature sanitation process have to be designed with this thought in mind.
Want to know if a custom metal basket can be designed and used for your own unique processes? Find out by contacting Marlin Steel now. Our team of degreed mechanical engineers have the know-how and the tools to help you design the right industrial-use basket for your job.