Electronic valve series targets medical devices

Paul Boughton

Design engineers of medical equipment face plenty of challenges as more is demanded from their products.

These challenges are being heard by many component manufacturers, even manufacturers that typically serve other industries.

A good example is electrically operated control valves. A big problem existed with the typical design of these valves that made them ill-suited for medical use. The overwhelming majority of solenoid valves were large, noisy, and unreliable. Also, most solenoid valves utilised a sliding armature within a coil. This design makes contamination a likelihood, and keeps the life expectancy short.

In 1974,  Clippard Instrument Laboratory Inc designed a valve that changed all of that. By utilising a flexible armature, this new valve lasted longer, was smaller, quieter and used less power without contamination.

Refinements to the design have resulted in a solenoid valve series that is capable of over a billion cycles while reducing noise, operating at lower power, and achieving high reliability. This EV/ET electronic valve series is used extensively in medical respirators, ventilators, oxygen conservers, concentrators, anaesthesia machines, and other air/oxygen devices.

Two years ago, Clippard introduced a proportional control version of this valve series, the EVP series. The EVP valves add more control options and flexibility, while not compromising the long life, low noise, and small size of the original series. 

Clippard Instrument Laboratory Inc is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. www.clippard.com

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