Sanitary valve is a valve with a stainless-steel body that satisfies hygienic standards. The polishing and cleaning of its part must also meet the sanitary standards. Sanitary valves are primarily used in the pipeline system of beer, beverages, food, and the biopharmaceutical industry. Buyers of hygienic valves include pharmaceutical factories as well as food factories for use in the maintenance of configuration of related equipment. Other purchasers are integrators of food equipment systems and resellers.
Irrespective of your reasons for desiring to own sanitary valves, one of the things that you will realize is that the market has a wide variety. In such a situation, confusion is inevitable. However, when you are armed with the right information, the process of identifying the correct sanitary valve will be seamless and fast.
If you are at crossroads and do not know where to begin as you shop for sanitary valves, you’ve come to the right place. This post aims at helping you understand what to look for when buying hygienic valves.
The two most important factors to consider include;
- Types of sanitary valves
- Valve connections
Let’s look at these three factors separately.
- Types of Sanitary Valves — Applications
Sanitary Butterfly Valves
They are made up of circular metal discs that revolve around an axis positioned on a metal shaft. The metal disc follows the flow at an angle. The ability of the shaft to rotate comes in handy when there is a need to seal the body of the valve. The main application of these sanitary valves is to control the flow using the throttling principle. Its frame and the disc are both made of stainless steel.
Sanitary Ball Valves
These types of valves are more inclined to the tight shut-off category of sanitary valves. They specialize in the maintenance of the pressure of flow by ensuring as minimal drops as possible. This feature makes sanitary ball valves the best for use in activities that entail the handling of viscous fluids and fluids containing chunks, chemical, or food particles. Companies in the pharmaceutical, dairy, and brewing sectors always prefer sanitary ball valves over other types.
Sanitary Tank Bottom Valves
They are designed for use in the bottom part of a tank system, and hence the name. It explains why they are popular in the food/dairy processing, pharmaceutical, and fine chemical industries.
Sanitary Pressure Relief Valves
They are particularly useful in systems that depend on relief from overpressure to remain functional. There is always a need to relieve pressure to avoid possible breakdown of equipment. This feature, alongside its stainless-steel design, makes this type of sanitary valve the best for use in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and food/dairy processing industries.
Sanitary Constant Pressure Valves
As the name suggests, these sanitary valves are designed for use in the maintenance of a pre-determined pressure at the outlet and inlet ports. They are utilized mainly in separators, tank systems, and related equipment. They are so effective that they can maintain a maximum pressure rate of 12 bar (174psi).
Sanitary Sampling Valves
These sanitary valves are entirely autoclavable. They are usually fitted to a pipeline or tank. They permit sampling in the middle of the line and in turn, helping to deliver the desired representative sample. When positioned at the tank bottom, sanitary sampling valves can be used to get rid of organic or chemical remains from a finished product.
Sanitary Check Valves
They are commonly referred to as “No-Return valves.” Check valves are used to maintain reverse flow to the minimal to prevent the anticipated output from ever doubling back to mix with the input.
Sanitary check valves utilize its cracking pressure feature. This is the minimum difference in pressure between the inlet and outlet which activates or deactivates the valve. Depending on the design of the sanitary check valve, you can specify the pressure point.
Sanitary Angle Seat Valves
To activate this sanitary valve, lift the seal from the seat that is placed at an angle with the direction of the flow. The angle delivers a maximum pressure of the flow, which is ideal for applications requiring a stable flow of pressured fluid at high temperatures. Manual or pneumatic linear-functioning actuator (a hand wheel) is used to operate sanitary angle seat valves.
Sanitary Globe Valves
Just like sanitary butterfly valves, these round, linear-motion sanitary valves use the throttling principle to keep the flow rate in check.
Sanitary Diaphragm Valves
They contain two gaskets or diaphragms. They are used to isolate the input fluid from the environment completely. The motion-operating elements of these sanitary valves prevent contamination of the liquid. They also keep interference-oriented errors at bay and in turn, safeguard the valve against potential compromise.
If you’ve settled on buying a sanitary diaphragm valve, choose one capable of withstanding high levels of steam, and has guaranteed durability. Purity-focused biopharmaceutical industries prefer 2/3-way, multiport designs.
- Valve connection
Sanitary valves come with a wide array of end connections, namely butt-weld, flanged, threaded and tri-clamp connections. Be careful to choose an end connection that matches the connection point of your pipework. Aspects such as the pressure, temperature of the liquid, its dismantling frequency, as well as its usage, are equally important.
Sanitary valves are also made of different materials. Each of the material used has its advantages and disadvantages, and that’s what you should seek to understand. Some f these materials include,
- Buna -NBR is the most commonly used type of rubber for technical applications. It displays high resistance against grease, oil, and other hydrocarbons. It is also resistant against diluted lye and nitric acid. NBR can withstand very high temperature (up to 230AF). Unfortunately, it usually affected by ozone, making exposure to UV rays detrimental.
- Teflon (PTFE) – it offers resistance against all forms of water and water-based wetness. Teflon has the lowest displayed coefficient of friction amongst solids.
- Silicone – Due to high flexibility to temperature, silicone is generally used in the manufacture of seals and seats. It retains its elasticity when placed somewhere between -80 AF and 450 AF. It is loved for its resistance to the majority of the standard fatal components apart from steam, undiluted lye, and acids that have the potential to ruin a silicone-based rubber. The beauty of silicone is that it has impressive resistance to ozone.
These are just some of the ways through which you can identify the most appropriate sanitary valve for your application. Understand that the selection process can be demanding and time-consuming, but worthwhile.