Aseptic valves and hygienic valves find key applications in germs-sensitive environments such as pharmaceutical, bio-pharmaceutical, cosmetic, dairy, food and beverage, or any other high-purity industry/process. Both valves have a lot in common based on their design and functionality, but they also have distinct differences.
But first, what does aseptic mean and how does it apply to valves?
The term aseptic refers to being free from contamination caused by microorganisms, harmful bacteria, or viruses. In the highly germs-sensitive industries mentioned above, it is very important to keep processes free from contamination for safety purposes. Contamination in the food and beverage industry, for example, can greatly influence the microbiological safety and quality of products produced, resulting in harmful effects on consumers.
Aseptic, when applied to valves, means that a valve is designed to be free from contamination. Aseptic valves are designed with materials and surface finishes that make them easy to clean. They also have components that are well protected from the surrounding environment by hermetical sealing. Each component that comes into contact with the process materials therefore doesn’t get contaminated by the environment. Aseptic valves achieve this by having bellows on their valve sterns, which block germs from finding their way into the process.
Similarities between aseptic and hygienic valves
Aseptic and hygienic valves have many similarities, majorly because they utilize almost the same materials for construction and feature smooth finishes on their surfaces. Both the valves are designed in a special manner that ensures there is no trapping of particles from food or other products, which would allow bacteria to assemble or hide in them. They are also similar in that their applications are in highly hygienic environments.
Both the valves commonly use stainless steel because the material is inert to both the product and cleaning materials used. Steel is also corrosion-resistant and non-toxic to process.
Differences between aseptic and hygienic valves
The major difference between aseptic and hygienic valves is their key purpose and mode of operation. While the aseptic valve’s major purpose is preventing contamination from the environment, the hygienic valve’s key purpose is to offer easy cleanability. Components of the aseptic valves never come into contact with the surrounding environment, while those of hygienic valves can move in and out of the process and be exposed to the surrounding atmosphere.
Applications of aseptic and hygienic valves
Aseptic valves are most commonly used in industries with processes that require high levels of purity to avoid any contamination. Such industries include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, microelectronics, and cosmetics industries, among more.
Hygienic valves, on the other hand, find use in industries that require maintaining high levels of hygiene, so regular cleaning is necessary. Such industries include dairy, food, and beverages manufacturing.