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Processing & Handling :: Liquid, Gas and Air Handling

August 1, 2006

Specifying Equipment for High-Purity Fluid Flow

The right system of pumps, valves and seals ensures virtually contamination-free operation

Donald T. Weeks, Flowserve Flow Control; and Thomas M. Bennett, Flowserve Flow Solutions

In the pharmaceutical, biotech and food processing industries, ingredients are transported, mixed, heated and cooled assuming the assurance of product purity required by lawmakers and taken for granted by consumers. Integral to the design of fluid-handling systems that must meet some of the most stringent standards of cleanliness in the world are equipment specifications that minimize the potential for contamination. The root cause of most contamination is bacteria. Equipment that has sharp corners, crevices, seams, or some type of obstruction is susceptible because these uneven finishes create dead cavities, where bacteria can hide and breed. Even a poor surface finish with microscopic peaks and valleys can cause a thin layer of bacteria to form on the surface....

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