GEA is celebrating the launch of the TEFASEP® gold valve seat seal at drinktec 2017 (Hall A3/ Stand 313). As well as the previously available standard elastomer materials, such as EPCM and FKM, now a hard seal option is available with the TEFASEP® gold. It consists of a specially developed thermoplast that is so resistant to temperature and chemicals that it can withstand sterilization processes of 121 °C up to 160 °C which is vital for highly hygienic or aseptic processing of, for example, UHT milk, baby food and soft drinks. Another advantage of TEFASEP® gold is that it can easily be applied in traditional ultraclean processes with simple hot cleaning without sterilization. Valves can therefore be coordinated better with customer processes – from ultraclean to aseptic.

Growing trend for hard seals

The new seal is designed for the D-tec® range of rod membrane valves that stand out because of their very high contamination protection. “Since the GEA D-tec® was launched onto the market in 2015, we have constantly further developed and added to the valve range,” explained Pascal Bär, Product Manager for aseptic valve technology at GEA. “More and more customers are seeing the advantages of a hard seal that also easily copes with sterilization processes at high temperatures and handling abrasive media without any problems. Therefore we modified the material of the established TEFASEP® valve seat seal from the Aseptomag® valve range in such a way that the D-tec® valves, including their wide range of applications, can also be fitted with it. With the TEFASEP® gold we have created a genuine all rounder.”

Focus on process requirements

The hard, stable material compound is impressive not only because of its high temperature and chemical resistance but its robustness also prevents the cold flow familiar with other thermoplasts and as a result contributes significantly to process stability. Together with the valve design, the material ensures a minimum contact surface between the housing and the seal which, in turn, increases the cleaning capability of the process system. Unlike an elastomer seal, the thermoplast uniquely requires a cleaning cycle of 80 °C. As a result the O ring adjusts to the valve seat and seals the system hermetically

Optimized operating costs

“We are convinced that, with the TEFASEP® gold, we have found an ideal combination of technical performance and profitability. Looking at the operating costs over the whole service life of a valve played an important role during the development of the new seal option,” asserted Pascal Bär.

The new TEFASEP® gold valve seat seal differs from the tried and tested TEFASEP® model in appearance because of its bronze gold colour and is available for all valve types in the D-tec® range. The material meets the international standards of the FDA (21 CFR § 177.1550), the EC (1935/2004 and 10/2011) and the 3A standard (numbers 20 – 24). In addition, TEFASEP® gold complies with USP standards (USP Class IV –121 °C) and is thus suitable for pharmaceutical and biotechnology applications.

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