The gassing valve from FMS is an efficient solution to automatically isolate particle counter technology installed in cleanrooms, isolators and RABS to enable safe, rapid and effective decontamination as the industry increasingly adopts automated decontamination procedures such as sporicidal gassing using Vapourised Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP).
The result of an in-house FMS development project, the gassing valve solution brings together high-end valve hardware, our unparalleled cleanroom applications expertise along with installation and commissioning services, and customer support as a complete package. It is proving popular with constructors and owners of the increasing number of smaller, more cost-effective cleanrooms and isolators being built across the pharma manufacturing sector.
The hardware at the heart of the gassing solution is a superior, industrial-grade valve assembly that met our stringent engineering specification. The quality and functionality of the value is critical to effective, reliable and repeatable operation. The diverter valve mechanism features Teflon coating for all wetted interior surfaces to prevent the shedding of any particles, along with a robust, chemically-inert stainless-steel construction.
A variety of methods and antimicrobial agents have been used for the periodic decontamination of critical environments. As conventional wipe down techniques prove time-consuming, the industry has moved towards more effective methods such as automated VHP decontamination. VHP is a powerful oxidizing agent and if drawn into a particle counter can damage or contaminate the instrument’s optics. Damage due to VHP exposure can cause false particle counts, calibration errors or a total particle counter malfunction.
The three-way diverter valve protects an attached airborne particle counter (APC) from contamination, degradation and damage. In its working position, the valve allows the air within the cleanroom or isolator chamber to be continuously monitored by the APC, validating the contamination integrity of that sensitive environment.
In the safe position, which can be an automatic switchover process controlled by a PLC or Facility Monitoring System during a clean & purge cycle, the valve opens a channel to the cleaning agent while completely shielding the sensitive optics and components of the airborne particle counter. The internals of an APC can be irreparably damaged by exposure to the cleaning agent, typically hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV).
An electrical contact is activated when the valve has moved to its safe position, providing a practical failsafe as well as providing feedback to automate the gassing process via a connected PLC or a Facility Monitoring System, such as the FMS 5 from TSI Inc.
The Validair gassing valve can be actuated electrically or pneumatically.