Monday, August 22, 2022
Selecting the right peristaltic pump tubing can be a challenging task but we are here to make it easy. Just contact us and we will do the heavy lifting for you. As an independent distributor we have access to multiple peristaltic pump tubing suppliers rather than being one and can select the optimal solution for your application. Peristaltic pump consultation is completely free of charge.
If you would prefer to learn more about the tube selection process for peristaltic pumps and select the tubing yourself read on.
Peristaltic pump tubing selection can look like a simple task at first glance, but it can get complex quickly.
Quick check list below:
The above are quick checks, we are going to have a separate article soon on how to make the correct peristaltic pump selection.
Chemical compatibility table/chart can be used to determine if the substance pumped is compatible with the peristaltic tube material. Make sure the table/chart has been created specifically for peristaltic pumps. If the material is subjected to physical stress (like it is in a peristaltic pump) it may develop different properties when it is used for transferring fluid (transfer tubing).
A significant number of substances cannot be found in the chemical compatibility tables/charts, so a submersible test is the best course of practice.
Part of the tubing needs to be cut and submerged in the pumped substance(s) for a prolonged period of time (48 hours minimum). This is done to see if there are any changes to the tubing. Discoloration, swelling, embrittlement, etc. they all indicate a “chemical attack” and different tubing material has to be selected for the application.
Contact us, we offer submersible tests to save you time.
This parameter could be critical for a number of reasons. Chemical compatibility can change with temperature. Something that is harmless to the peristaltic pump tubing at room temperature can suddenly become harmful at an elevated temperature. Peristaltic pump tubing materials usually don’t perform well at higher (+90 °C) temperatures and have an upper operational limit.
Peristaltic pumps do not like high discharge/back pressure. Anything that can be done to bring the pressure down in the system should be done. The back pressure significantly reduces tube life and if it is too high it can force the peristaltic tube to burst and spill pumped substance. This in return can pose a hazard to people and equipment. A pressure relief valve could be a solution to prevent this from happening. Some tubing materials handle back pressure better than others.
Selecting the right tubing dimensions could mitigate the problem. Increased wall thickness, smaller bore etc. will enable the tubing and by extension the pump, to handle higher pressure.
Contact us to find optimal tubing for higher pressure applications.
Too often the tubing dimensions are selected incorrectly for the pump head type. With so many pump head types available from different companies, that often look very similar. It is easy for the user to select tubing with the wrong dimensions – an incorrect bore size or the wrong wall thickness. Wall thickness is one of most important peristaltic pump tubing parameters. Too large and it will damage the pump head and reduce the tube life or the pump simply will not work; too small and the pump will not work or will underperform.
This parameter becomes very important when trying to achieve accurate dispensing. A higher tolerance will result in more accurate dispensing and will be more repeatable. That is why some manufacturers have a sperate tubing range for dispensing applications. Tolerance can be deceiving – the ID and OD can be within tolerance, but the ID can be misaligned with the OD and the peristaltic pump will underperform.
A pump tubing with a long life reduces the total cost of pump ownership but it is a fine balance. The often-asked question is: how long the tubing is going to last? This can be estimated but in most cases there are just too many variables effecting the tubes life to give the customer a definitive answer.
Most manufactures will have estimated values and this can help with preventive maintenance. Nothing is more reliable than a test at the end of the day. Contact us, we can run tests for you using test rigs to estimate the tubes life.
Transparency can be of particular importance if the operators need to see what is happening inside the tubing or of equal importance, if the fluid is sensitive to light.
If the substance pumped is sensitive to oxidation or the user wants to protect anaerobic cell cultures being pumped, thermoplastic material should be used over silicon which is generally more permeable to gas.
If the tubing comes into contact with substances that are used in food production or in pharmaceutical procedures it is of the upmost importance to use tubing that meets regulatory guidelines to avoid product contamination.
This can and is country specific.
United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), European Pharmacopoeia (EP), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) etc.
Users should always request certification and validation packs for tubing.
Our tubing starts as low as 2 GBP (2.5USD) per meter and can cost as much as 1000+ GBP per few centimetres. Finding the optimal solution is not easy. Inexpensive tubing may have to be replaced regularly, which can be an expensive process depending on the labour cost, if that tubing bursts the damage to equipment can be expensive but in some applications, it can be an optimal choice.
Contact us and we can assist you in finding the most cost-effective solution for you.
The tubing flow rate will drop off with time. Depending on the system set up, recalibration may be necessary. Different peristaltic pump tubing materials will have different drop off.
We can assist you in finding out more about the expected flow drop off of your chosen pump.
Peristaltic tubing is usually part of a long production chain. For some applications it is mandatory to conduct extractable and leachable studies.
Extractables: Organic and inorganic chemical species that can be released from the surfaces of components used in the manufacture and storage of drug products under laboratory conditions (accelerated or exaggerated temperatures, solvents or surface exposure).
Leachables: Organic and inorganic chemical species that can be released from the surfaces of components used in the manufacture and storage of drug products under conditions of normal use.
If you need help here, we can assist you in finding companies that help to do these studies for you.
Organoleptic properties are the aspects of food, water or other substances that create an individual experience via the senses—including taste, sight, smell, and touch.
Tubing can have all the above properties and the necessary certification but in the case of food products the tubing can affect the taste of the pumped product. It is important to ensure that this is not the case.
Please note final responsibility lies with the end user. Careful selection and validation are critical to prevent pump damage and protect people and the equipment.
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