Hygienic Sample Valves 101
A frequent requirement of manufacturing processes, quality control, or laboratory research is to acquire clean, consistent samples of a liquid intermediate or finished product at periodic intervals. Doing this in a way that is unobtrusive and does not compromise the integrity of the sample or the manufacturing process is crucial. A device known as a sanitary sample valve (or sampling valve) addresses this need.
Sample valves are commonly found in industries such as Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics, Personal Hygiene, Healthcare, Water Treatment and many industries never imagined. Each one important in it’s own way.
Distinctive performance requirements of sample valves include:
- The ability to handle liquids without leaking.
- Resistant to internal clogging.
- A design which eliminates or minimizes dead space within the valve which could contaminate subsequent samples.
- Some applications require the sample valve to tolerate high temperatures, high pressures or low pressures.
- Parts made from biologically-compatible materials for Ultrapure applications.
Sample valves are produced by numerous manufacturers. Sample Valves & Equipment specializes in providing custom-built solutions for unique applications. The main body and stem of the sample valve are machined from 316L stainless steel. The sealing tip is High Purity Teflon. Options for the internal O-Ring are available.
Liquid Sampling Valve Uses
Sample valves are commonly mounted to Process piping and in a position and orientation where they can be easily operated and maintained. They may be connected to many types of equipment to collect the sample or just opened into a collection flask or bag by manually turning a knob move a stem that opens the valve. Samples then can be transported for analysis. Testing of the sample is conducted to determine its characteristics by performing a physical, chemical or biological examination.
Extreme care must be taken when collecting and analyzing samples for quality control purposes. Beyond the obvious considerations such as sampling frequency and avoiding contamination, some samples can degrade rapidly.
Installation and Maintenance
Sample valves must be properly installed and maintained over their lifetime.
They are periodically cleaned in various ways by flushing, disassembly, and autoclaving.
With their unique capabilities, it’s no wonder that sample valves play an often unseen but vital role in many industries. We hope our sampling valves provide a small, but virtually unknown, sense of security.
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