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Oak Harbor, WA, February 24, 2012 — IDEX Health & Science (Booth 2729) offers instrument manufacturers increased pump performance in a new Check Valve for UHPLC systems. Created to maintain pressure in alternating-phase pumps, the lower cracking pressure of the new Check Valve was designed for faster response against competitive models. The patent pending ball cage design facilitates faster response times and improved flow characteristics through the check valve, which allows for less carry over by removing un-swept volume. “All check valves exhibit some leakage,” explained IDEX Health & Science Product Manager Mike Mainvielle; “In the closed position, at these extreme pressures, some leakage in the nanoliter range is expected, and that’s how check valves are rated.” IDEX Health and Science Check Valve materials are processed in-house enabling the control of critical dimensions, features, and surface finishes.
In addition to the innovative design, a new, stronger alloy utilized in manufacturing the check valve increases performance by significantly extending the usable life of the component. “At UHPLC pressures,” Mainvielle continued, “check valves fail because of structural stress, not necessarily blockage or chemical deposits within the part. Within a system check valves are often preventively replaced every quarter. Our design could enable equipment manufacturers to skip that step.” Employing Finite Element Analysis on the various components in the check valve design, developers at IDEX Health & Science were able to visualize where mechanical stress caused distortion inside the part at pressures ranging from 20 to 30 ksi. By optimizing the design for additional strength at the pressure points around the internal cartridge and the ball/seat interface, and utilizing computational flow dynamics to maximize internal flow capabilities, the team behind the new check valve projects a markedly longer component lifetime — up to three million pump cycles — and more-consistent pump performance in the laboratory. “Within the cartridge,” Mainvielle explained, “the design of the flow path provides laminar, more accurate fluid delivery because of improvements in how the check valve actuates.”
An additional requirement of the check valve design was a tunable platform that allows IDEX Health & Science to scale the check valve to the individual pressure and flow characteristics per instrument system using a leak-rate metric. “Instruments aren’t run under the same conditions — maintenance conditions, operating conditions, exposures to high temperatures or aggressive solvents. This platform enables us to optimize for specific systems,” Mainvielle concluded.
IDEX Health & Science offers a three-fold advantage to its customers by bringing life to fluidic pathways with products, people, and engineering expertise. These integrated assets work seamlessly together to enable fluidic pathways beyond a combination of components, which collectively position IDEX Health & Science as the forerunner in biotechnology and life science fluidics. Known as industry leaders in the design, development, and manufacturing of liquid subassemblies, fluidic products and related sub-systems, IDEX Health & Science provides the best solution for analytical, diagnostic, and biotech instruments. Product offerings include: fluidic connections, valves, pumps, degassers, column hardware, manifolds, and customized assemblies. For more information visit: www.idex-hs.com.