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Hygienic design of valves

Every process plant is equipped with valves. Depending on system size, hundreds, even thousands of valves can be found in piping matrices in liquid-processing plants. Valves fulfill numerous functions in process plants: shut-off and opening of product routes, changeover, flow and pressure control, protection against excessive or insufficient pressure, and protection against the intermixing of incompatible media at intersection points in pipes.
The quality of the valve may have a considerable influence on the quality of the production process and, hence, the product itself. Hygienic deficiencies resulting from valve design may result in microbiological hazards in the production of food products. The risk for the product increases with each valve installed in the process plant. Therefore, it must be ensured that valves for food-processing use comply strictly with hygienic requirements.

Surface roughness has a significant influence on cleanability. The greater the surface roughness, the llonger the required cleaning time. In principle, any treatment of product-contact surfaces should result in a surface roughness value of Ra <= 0,8 μm. A rougher surface may be acceptable, but the deviating surface roughness must be dearly specified. (In the beverage industry. a roughness of Ra = 1,6 μm is usually acceptable.)

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