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Cover story


Pressure gauges for pharmaceutical processes A


re pressure gauges suitable for pharmaceutical processes? Yes, if they are available in a version with a


flush diaphragm element. There are two advantages for a mechanical pressure measurement with this type of instrument: diaphragm pressure gauges measure “dry” and thus reduce the risk of contamination. In addition, they offer a reliable measurement, even in critical situations, due to their extremely robust diaphragm element and the high overload safety. In numerous pharmaceutical processes


diaphragm seal systems are used to control the process pressure, also in combination with a pressure gauge. A diaphragm seal separates the measuring instrument from the process and thus protects it against influences. Its sensitive diaphragm for the transmission of pressure through liquid is relatively thin, due to the accuracy of measurement. Compared to the diaphragm as the pressure sensing element of a diaphragm pressure gauge, it is therefore more susceptible, both to unpredictable process conditions (pressure peaks, overload) and to mechanical influences.


10


If the diaphragm is damaged, system fill fluid can enter the process.


No coNtamiNatioN


Pressure gauges with a flush diaphragm element eliminate such contamination since they operate without liquid. Their robust diaphragm element transmits the pressure, via a link, directly to the movement. It is two to five times as thick as a conventional seal diaphragm. The diaphragm element is therefore effectively protected against unexpected physical effects. In addition, it can absorb a high overload ‒ with WIKA instruments this is up to five times the nominal pressure. Fur thermore, pressure gauges for


pharmaceutical processes must meet the stringent requirements for sanitary applications in every respect. This has been implemented by WIKA in its PG43SA series. For their instruments, a diaphragm element of only 35mm in diameter was developed. Due to its special wave contour and the thickness of its material, the diaphragm has a measuring quality comparable to the diaphragm element


January 2019 Instrumentation Monthly


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