The process of separating solids from liquids embraces a wide variety of problems and materials, from colloidal suspensions to magmas containing coarse crystals which settle so rapidly that it becomes difficult to maintain a uniform suspension of solids by means of mechanical agitation.

In general, any suspension in which the solids settle readily can be filtered on top-feed filters and, hence, they are limited to the coarse, rapid-settling crystalline solids – especially where the solids are to be dried on the filter and where washing is not especially important. Top-feed filters should not be used if a turbid filtration is objectionable.

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