Optimised design and perfect interaction of components make diaphragm valves by Bürkert exceptionally durable, maintenance-friendly and hygienic.

In no other industries are the validation processes, manufacturing guidelines and inspections so strictly regulated as pharma and biotech. This is because, ultimately, people’s lives are at stake. Plant engineers, constructors and operators are confronted by increasingly complex challenges. Under constant cost pressure, they must not only comply with strict guidelines, but also minimise risks and boost efficiency.

In pharmaceutical processes, diaphragm valves are indispensable ingredients that guarantee hygiene by separating valuable media from the outside world. They are used in many typical applications, including media preparation, fermentation, filtration, filling and clean utilities.

Interfaces and bodies improved

Bürkert diaphragm valves can be assembled from a wide range of bodies, diaphragms and actuators to suit every application. The interfaces and forged bodies have now been further improved in terms of the design and interaction of individual components. The result is a range of valves characterised by long-lasting, maintenance-friendly design that guarantees reliable and hygienic processes.

With the new Tube Valve Body, Bürkert has already developed an innovative body, the lightweight design of which saves energy during the heating phase and time during the cooling process. This makes processes sustainable and more productive. Now, the geometry of the two-way forged bodies has also been optimised. A smooth edge radius on the body reduces the stress on the diaphragms, making them last longer.

Leak-tightness stops contamination

The design modification also improves the forged body from a hygienic perspective. An axial sealing lip on the diaphragm increases the compression. Leak-tightness has been improved in this way to prevent the ingress of media or foreign particles. As a result, the fluid is better protected against contamination.

To extend the lifetime, the compressor contour for EPDM and PTFE diaphragms has also been modified. The overall design is now more flexible, the contact surface between diaphragm and compressor is greater, and the load distribution more even and smoother. The lifetime of the diaphragm can be further extended if, for a given diaphragm size, the spring force is reduced or a smaller actuator is used.

Practical testing

The durability of the diaphragms has been demonstrated in practical testing under the harshest conditions. Realistic sterilisation in place (SIP) conditions were simulated in an automated test system. Tested valves were subjected to thousands of actuations in cycles of steam, vacuum and cold water. The test data confirms the improvements: The tested diaphragm lasted 30-50% longer than comparable products.

Plant operators benefit from the extended lifetime because long-lasting diaphragms ensure more reliable plant operation. Apart from this, longer maintenance intervals enable further operational cost savings.

Quick and safe replacement

Bürkert diaphragm valves are easy to handle, and can therefore be installed and maintained quickly and safely. The diaphragms are simple to replace, for example, if more stringent hygiene requirements must be fulfilled, or if diaphragms with different characteristics are needed. Bayonet or threaded connections enable diaphragms to be removed from the actuator in just a few simple steps. The actuator is designed so that the compressor is automatically secured and cannot fall out when the diaphragm is replaced. This saves time, and makes assembly and maintenance easy and safer.