Valve Manifold Materials & Design
What is a Valve Manifold?
A Valve Manifold offers a means to take a source of liquid or gas and distribute this to multiple outputs in a controlled manner. The method of control can be a simple hand operated tap or automatic control offered by an electrically controlled solenoid valve.
Where would a Valve Manifold be used?
Valve Manifolds are all around us in everyday life. Valve Manifolds can be used for simple functions such as controlling automatic doors or dispensing drinks. Valve Manifolds can also be used in more complex applications such as patient gas monitoring in a hospital operating theatre or the monitoring dangerous gases in the brewing and diving industries.
What materials can be used for Valve Manifolds?
The material for a valve manifold will depend on the application. High pressure industrial applications, such as hydraulics on heavy equipment, will typically use manifolds manufactured in steel.
Manifolds in other materials such as plastic tend to be used in applications where the pressures and throughputs are lower. Plastic Valve Manifolds may be used in applications which require lower pressures for mixing, sampling and analysis.
Why not use conventional tubing?
Valves, pumps and other components can be coupled using conventional plastic tubing. While tubing can work for a number of applications, it can introduce other manufacturing, assembly, reliability and servicing issues.
Preparing a liquid or gas valve assembly requires plastic tubing to be selected and cut to the required lengths. This can be a time consuming task which is then followed by the assembly of all components to create a functional circuit.
The valve circuit assembly can be prone to performance problems due to kinks in tubes, dead volumes, leaks at joints and possible assembly errors after system maintenance. Valve manifolds can address many of these problems.
What are the Design benefits?
Plastic Valve manifolds have been developed to offer the design engineer an attractive alternative to the use of conventional tubing and fittings.
Plastic Valve Manifolds are custom designed and manufactured to offer controlled flow paths and volumes over multiple valve applications. These plastic Valve Manifolds can be used for handling fluids, liquids or gases in many medical and industrial applications.
What can Carville offer?
Carville produce bespoke plastic valve manifolds in a range of engineering plastics. Simple valve manifolds can be cross drilled, however, diffusion bonded valve manifolds offer the design engineer a whole new range of options.
What are Diffusion Bonded Valve Manifolds?
Diffusion bonded Valve Manifolds are manufactured and assembled in layers without the requirement for gaskets between these layers. This manufacturing technique results in a plastic Valve Manifold which is mechanically strong, clean and extremely reliable.
As diffusion bonded valve manifolds are bespoke, the options for design engineers are extensive. Features which a design engineer can draw in X and Y to create the required fluid or gas circuit can be reproduced on a CNC machine tool. Carville’s diffusion bonding techniques allow additional layers to be bonded which can be used to enhance the functionality of the manifold.
The majority of plastic Valve Manifolds produced by Carville are in fully heat treated clear cast acrylic. Most applications use two or three layers, however, Carville also produce more complex valve manifolds with 5, 6 and 7 layers. Examples of these more complex multi-layer valve manifolds can be viewed in the image library.
Is there a size limitation?
Carville produce valve manifolds with small tracks for micro fluidic applications along with larger manifolds accommodate 200 to 300 valves.
Is there any restriction on my Valve selection?
Valve manifolds produced by Carville are manufactured to each individual customers design requirements. We appreciate that valve selection may be critical to an application and we have produced manifolds to be used with most valve sizes and designs.
Carville supply Diffusion Bonded plastic valve manifolds to several of the worlds leading valve manufacturers in Europe, Asia and the USA.