Global Processing

Seals for unique tank cleaning spray ball

March 3, 2008

A sealing configuration from Trelleborg Sealing Solutions gives proven performance in stringent tests. This is an integral part of Retract-A-Ball, a retractable spray ball system for tank cleaning in CIP processes. The innovative Retract-A-Ball operates pneumatically, giving it the major unique advantage of being fully self-draining, preventing trapping of fluid, a potential source of contamination. Tank Cleaning Developments, a U.K. company, involved Trelleborg Sealing Solutions from the concept stage in specification of seals for Retract-A-Ball, a retractable spray ball system for tank cleaning in CIP processes. The design of the seals presented a number of challenges, as on one side there was liquid and on the other air. Operating under pressure from both sides and at high temperatures, the seals had to withstand aggressive cleaning fluids. In addition, as Retract-A-Ball is used in food and pharmaceutical processing, compliance to relevant standards, including FDA and USP Class VI, was essential. Extensive tests were required to meet the stringent requirements of the processing equipment manufacturers and their customers. In these, after cycles of 1,000 operations, there was no leakage and pressure was held. The seals also continued to perform after a temperature test where the units were heated up to 284°F (140°C) for 24 hours.