Pipeline strainers are one of those simple devices that perform a critical role in maintaining the smooth operation of any piping system. They are found in any operation that has fluid moving through a pipe, and their proper selection and application is the subject of a great tutorial authored by the experts at Spirax Sarco, a premiere manufacturer of specialties for industrial piping systems.
One of the basic tenets of industrial process control operations is to maintain a specified function or outcome, to keep things working. Reduced to its simplest, the function of a strainer is to trap materials flowing in the pipeline that should not be there. Rust, scale, joint compound, and particulate materials can impact the function of valves and other elements in the system. A strainer will trap and hold undesirable material, for removal at a later time.