It is possible, however, to convey a range of materials without breaking the bank—or breaking your machinery.
To avoid purchasing a different valve for every material type, you can choose a universal valve with adjustable add-on features that can accommodate specific manufacturing environments and industry regulations.
Coatings and materials
Before choosing your valve, you’ll have to decide what materials work best with your machinery.
Stainless steel: For sanitary applications, always choose stainless steel. This material is easy to clean, and will prevent pharma or food products from product recall. Some chemicals cause mass material wear on cast iron construction valves, and as such, stainless steel is the recommended material.
With stainless steel, it’s important to have the valve internally polished (to a 180 grit finish). This will prevent cracks and crevices in the machinery that lead to material build up.
Cast Iron: For more abrasive materials, heavy-duty cast iron valves are recommended. This way, your aggregates and plastics are less likely to wear down your valves, and you will need less maintenance, and fewer repairs and replacements.
With cast iron, coatings in hard chrome, tungsten, nickel and epoxy can be applied internally. Coatings prevent cracks and crevices that lead to material build up, making cleaning easy. Fewer cracks and crevices also mean less risk of your material getting jammed between the housing and rotor, which can cause breakdowns and unwanted downtime.
Regardless of industry or material type, it’s important to keep machinery clean in order to prevent corrosion, material build-up or product recall.
Look for features like the Quick-Clean RotorRail for easy, toolless access to your valve—ultimately leading to less downtime and overall effort. Check out just how lazy you can be in this video example here.
Look for U-shaped rotor pockets in your valves so that material doesn’t get stuck at the bottom of the V. U-shaped pockets will not only improve material flow, but also extend the life of your machinery with less risk of corrosion.
It’s also a good idea to go with direct drive motors, instead of ancient chain-drive technology. By eliminating the need for lubrication, your valve will be more sanitary and require less maintenance in the long run.
To stay NFPA compliant, keep your housing to rotor clearance at 0.0079 inches. This restricts blow-by, material drag, and prevents creating an ignition source in your valve.
Each material will wear down the rotor at different rates, meaning it will eventually need to be replaced. Easy drop-in rotor replacements mean that this can be done with minimal downtime.
Keep a regular maintenance log to determine how often replacements are needed.
Each industry has its own set of regulations, aside from the industry-wide NFPA guidelines, to follow when it comes to keeping your machinery, plant and products safe. Check them out below.
As consumers search for cleaner processes for both their own food, and their pet food, manufacturers should stay compliant at every stage of the food manufacturing chain. We have info on what to look for along with FSMA guidelines here, and check up on Global Food Safety Initiatives for your food packaging or food manufacturing auditing processes here.
Check in with the EPA Act to ensure that you’re staying compliant and protecting your employees from the dangers of toxic fumes with your machinery here. Chemical Alliance has helpful plant walkthroughs and more information on the Toxic Substances Control Act here.
For more information on valves to suit your materials, visit acsvalves.com.
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ACS Valves designs, engineers, and manufactures high-quality, high-performance rotary valves for metering, feeding, and airlock in bulk material processing and pneumatic conveying applications.ACS Valves products are sold through a global network of sales engineers and supported by a corporate staff of applications engineers and customer services ...