Manifold Handling & Care
Every manifold requires care. Whether through its cleaning processes or other associated maintenance procedures, ensure that your manifold lasts by following the rules for care here.
How To Handle A Manifold
The single largest source of returned manifolds from our customers is damage on the customer’s assembly floor. Amorphous plastics have a relatively low tensile strength, and highly susceptible to stress cracking and scratching.
We understand that bonded manifolds are an investment and need careful treatment for long-lasting use. To ensure a long life and correct assembly, we recommend that customers only use their best assembly people with appropriate training to handle the unique hardware.
Plastics are soft and will scratch easily if not handled properly. A scratch intolerant location is the mounting surface for the valves. Valves have 2 or 3 ports that seal to the plastic manifold with either a flat gasket or oring. The critical portion of the seal is between the two ports, any leakage caused by a scratch will render the valve ineffective.
We advise to always place the manifold down on a soft cotton cloth when handling for maintenance or any other reason. It is acceptable to put the manifold down on a face where there are no holes, such as on an edge. Never slide a manifold on a flat surface. This will cause immediate irreparable damage. Always pickup and place down carefully.
To ensure a leak free operation, manifold design should specify mounting surfaces for valves held to a surface finish of 16 ra or better.
We strongly urge customers test the components, manifolds, assemblies, and associated products before actual use. While most manufacturers can simulate close to exact operating conditions, real-time usage will provide more insight than what we could come close to mimicking.
In that vein, we can utilize certain tests to ensure quality: decay and bubble tests. These tests consist of experimenting and measuring the product using pressure within the channels and components among other methods. For a decay test, our QA personnel monitor the pressure and loss during a product's expected operation. If any measurements appear abnormal, then we understand what happened and how to fix such an issue. For a bubble test, the method is quite simple. We place the part in a bath filled with normal water to see if bubbles form within the product. If bubbles arise that aren't suppose to, then we can develop a plan to ameliorate the issue.
While we tend to use the above stated methods most often, many others exist that can grant further insight into certain product defects before shipment or actual function. Inquire with us to explore those options.
Cleaning Your Manifolds
Manufacturers should perform a general cleaning on all manifolds, which includes washing the manifold with hot soapy water, rinsing it with clean water, and using high pressure air to dry. If requested, ultrasonic cleaning is available. Customers can (and usually do) any additional cleaning and sterilization to ensure optimal performance.