How to choose the right rubber type for your healthcare process

The manufacturing of medicine, dietary supplements or personal care products naturally requires a processing plant that is suited for the purpose. Equipment for handling fluid products contains gaskets, diaphragms, hoses and other rubber related products.

One thing is the right approvals – very important! Another is whether the equipment releases substances to the product or if it can withstand the ingredients used during the production process. Finally, it is important that the day-to-day operation runs smoothly and with an optimum operating economy.

The choice of the right rubber compound is a decisive factor.

Does the rubber compound release any substances to the product?

Yes – but the type and amount depends entirely on the formulation of the rubber and the composition of the product with which is comes into contact. Furthermore, the contact time and the temperature also play a role.

AVK GUMMI develops compounds specifically for the intended purpose. Naturally, we always focus on using ingredients that will not affect the quality of the product. A precondition of this is that we have been informed of the composition of the product – maybe not in detail, but the most important ingredients, such as solvents. Also, it is important to know if the product is oil- or water-based and finally the pH-value is important.

We often carry out product specific tests, which will give you documentation that you can pass on to your customers.

Can the rubber compound withstand the product ingredients?

This is an essential question in the process of minimising the risk of foreign objects in the product and defining service intervals.

We have vast experience of what works and which signs of danger to be aware of. However, we also know that the composition of a product is often so complex that it is impossible to predict which rubber compound is best suited for the product.

This is further complicated as product details are rarely disclosed – and often it is the small details that determine if the choice is right or wrong.

Therefore, we offer to carry out direct tests during which we screen our different rubber solutions in the product and create documentation for the best choice.

How to optimise the daily operation based on the choice of rubber material

A valve must be designed to open and close and to be leak-tight when closed. This is particularly important in relation to mixproof valves where contamination from cleaning chemicals may otherwise pose a serious risk to the function of the valve. Gaskets designed to work in such an environment are therefore the right choice. When you – or your customer – change a gasket as part of the regular maintenance, it is important that you use the right spare part gaskets. That way, you can be sure that it is the same rubber compound and that the measurements of the gasket have been observed. Unoriginal gaskets are cheap, but you lose all form of traceability, and there is a great risk that the lifetime and the function of the valve will be reduced. All in all, an expensive and high-risk solution.