Thermoplastic weir style diaphragm valve
There are two main categories of diaphragm valves: one type seals over a “weir” (saddle) and the other (sometimes called a “full bore or straight-through” valve) seals over a seat. In general, straight-through diaphragm valves are used in on-off applications and weir-type diaphragm valves are used for control or throttling applications. While diaphragm valves usually come in two-port forms (2/2-way diaphragm valve), they can also come with three ports (3/2-way diaphragm valves also called T-valves) and more (so called block-valves). When more than three ports are included, they generally require more than one diaphragm seat; however, special dual actuators can handle more ports with one membrane.
For high purity applications, the design of the basic weir-style diaphragm valve seal presents a number of issues for process engineers working in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. In typical configurations, a weir in the valve body rises in a fluid path and when the valve is closed, the diaphragm meets the weir to shut off the flow. While the technology is intended to reduce turbulence and shear, weir-style valves present a number of issues, for example in upstream processing applications they can be difficult to install, prone to leaks, and increase the potential of product contamination. As such, a weirless diaphragm valve technology was developed by ASEPCO valves, part of the Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group.
Diaphragm valves can be manual or automated. Automated diaphragm valves may use pneumatic, hydraulic or electric actuators along with accessories such as solenoid valves, limit switches and positioners.
In addition to the well known, two way shut off or throttling diaphragm valve, other types include: Three way zero deadleg valve, sterile access port, block and bleed, valbow and tank bottom valve.