Fabricated vs. Machined | Custom Diaphragm Valve Considerations

Custom diaphragm valve design has been a staple of Aquasyn’s business since its inception. From 3-way diverters with integral drain valves, to sterile access combinations with specialized instrument ports, we strive to leverage our 20+ years of experience to address our customers’ unique concerns and applications. With their initial diagram in hand, one of the first critical decisions to make is which manufacturing method best suits the customer’s needs: fabricated or a machined block style valve.

Pictured above are two sterile access combinations, along with some of the benefits typically associated with their respective manufacturing method.

Benefits of a Fabricated Solution

By utilizing standard components, a fabricated custom diaphragm valve will generally have the advantage in cost and lead time. Valve combinations, specialized end connections or custom routing can be incorporated into a standard valve by our expert fabrication staff with off-the-shelf components. The significant cost and lead time associated with designing, programming and machining a custom part is avoided completely, which is especially important on low volume orders.

Move quickly from concept to execution with a fabricated custom diaphragm valve assembly.

Move quickly from initial concept to having the final product in hand with a fabricated custom diaphragm valve assembly.

Machined Block Custom Diaphragm Valve, Sterile Access

Minimize your valve’s footprint while optimizing its drainability with a custom machined valve (Cross Sectional View)

Benefits of a Machined Solution

In instances where space is at a premium, or fabricated solutions introduce too much hold-up volume, machined block style valves may be required. This flexibility can drastically reduce a custom valve assembly’s footprint, allowing multiple valves with actuators and positioners to fit into crowded areas, all while optimizing drainability and simplifying the sterilization process.

Another Factor: Thermal Efficiency

In either situation, it’s important to consider the mass you’re introducing into the system; when viewed as a heat sink, an unnecessarily large valve will reduce the thermal efficiency of your system. During the initial design of your block valve, it may be tempting to remove as little material as possible to keep your machining costs down. In the long run though, the lost system efficiency will outweigh these savings. At the same time, a well thought out block valve design could be more efficient than its fabricated equivalent, so it ultimately comes down to understanding your customer’s priorities.

Design Factors

In closing, this decision represents only a fraction of the design choices that must be carefully deliberated to ensure customer satisfaction. If you’re looking for help with any phase of the custom valve design process, reach out and take advantage of our expertise. Whether you need a one-off custom solution quickly to avoid holding up production, or large quantities of specialized valves for a unique operation, Aquasyn has the resources and experience to realize the ideal solution for your application.

Information request: