One-way valves typically are used in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes to prevent cross contamination. However, when the valve needs to be replaced, the entire unit, including the actuator, must be scrapped. Gemü (Ingelfingen-Criesbach, Germany), a global supplier of valves and control and measurement systems, has developed a single-use valve that incorporates a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) membrane from Kraiburg TPE (Waldkraiburg, Germany) that enables replacement of only the valve. Kraiburg TPE is one of the world's leading manufacturers of TPE based on hydrogenated styrene block copolymers.
The Sumondo single-use membrane valve is a safe and cost-effective system, according to Gemu, because the interior membrane is the only part of the device that comes into contact with the pharmaceutical media. The valve unit is manufactured from sterilized polypropylene in a cleanroom; the ultrasonically heat-sealed TPE membrane hermetically separates the media from the environment and from the valve actuator. Moreover, it also regulates volume flow in the valve during operation.