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What is a Bubble Trap? Hygienic Bubble Traps

Posted on August 13, 2020 by LJ Star in Blog

Hygienic Bubble Trap
A bubble trap is a crevice-free and self-draining trap that can efficiently remove unwanted gas or air bubbles in process fluids. Bubble traps are specifically designed for chromatography applications, these hygienic bubble traps achieve higher concentrations of process fluids without providing crevices or other areas that where harmful bacteria can accumulate.

Bubble Traps

The hard fact of separation science is waste is often created to achieve the chemical reactions necessary for your operations. Unwanted gases and particulates are often created as byproducts of catalyzation and other chemical processes. Along with dangerous bacteria, these can lead to product contamination, forcing you to scrap entire batches of costly products in addition to the toll of downtime needed to resume sterile operations. Even simple gas bubbles can cause the following problems:

  • Pipetting and sample errors
  • Experimental errors to sensors, readouts, and chromatography columns as components dry
  • Increased shear stress in biological reactors, inducing cytotoxicity as membranes stretch under the force of the liquid-air interface

Chromatography skid suppliers and users know the pain that this can cause more than anyone. The risk of product contamination can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, requiring time-consuming cleanup of the entire process. Equipment malfunction can also quickly become an issue if these problems are left unaddressed.

If you don’t catch this spoilage early, things can get even worse. Contaminated products, or ones where evidence suggests a deviation occurred during manufacturing, need to be recalled from the market. There’s nothing worse than being blamed for a public health risk. While such problems usually only happen with small numbers of batches before the contamination spreads, if a product is found to be unsafe for continued marketing, it must be withdrawn completely. That’s why a product needed to be created that could assure cost-effective gas removal while remaining sterile and FDA compliant.

Hygienic Bubble Traps

To meet the needs of our customers, L.J. Star designed the industry’s very first fully hygienic bubble trap. Originating with a request from an L.J. Star client, subsequent product development was done with the cooperation of three other clients. Beta testing began in mid-2007, and by 2008, the hygienic bubble trap was introduced to the market. Since then, L.J. Star’s hygienic bubble traps have had over a decade’s worth of improved system safety and efficiency in several pharmaceutical installations.

Bubble Traps for Sanitary Solution Applications

It’s only through superior engineering that hygienic bubble traps can provide a sanitary solution in applications where sterile, bacteria-free environments are of the utmost importance. These bubble traps offer the following features, all of which are required for pharmaceutical and chromatography applications:

  • Fast and efficient disassembly/reassembly
  • No exposed threads
  • Self-draining and free of any internal or external crevices
  • Full traceability on all wetted components
  • Hygienic sealing O-rings
  • Molded gaskets for applications where EPDM seals are indicated, providing improved cleanability
  • Electropolished 15Ra surface finish
  • Less SIP/CIP cleaning and associated downtime
  • Quick and easy washdowns
  • ASME BPE compliant design
  • FDA compliant gaskets that meet USP Class VI

All of these features lead to one thing: better products. As an integral part of your system that removes bubbles and other contaminants, a hygienic bubble trap can secure any application where the presence of such pollutants would damage your supply or negatively impact your business. They offer peace of mind that other solutions just can’t compare.

If there’s one thing that the team at L.J. Star is known for, it’s our ingenuity and ability to come up with customized solutions to our customers’ problems. While our hygienic bubble trap was initially designed for chromatography skids, our engineers can take our current design and modify it to fit your unique needs.

Beyond pharmaceutical applications, the science behind the superior engineering and design of the hygienic bubble trap lends itself to any operation where a high level of sterility is required. Applications in the food and beverage industry, laboratory testing, and any other operations that are strictly governed by regulatory agencies can benefit from the hygienic environment that this style of bubble trap can offer.

L.J. Star’s hygienic bubble traps are available in a variety of sizes to fit your specific needs, with standard models ranging from four to ten inches. Custom designs are available on request. Models sized in the 3-6 inch range have been redesigned with the outer glass sealed against the bottom head in order to eliminate fluid entrapment from the external hose down, creating a design that is just as efficient as it is effective.

Unlike most suppliers, L.J. Star supplies bubble trap units that are customized to meet end-application requirements. Our designs are always supported with engineering expertise and documentation, providing you with the best solutions possible to keep your business running.

Learn more about bubble trap product specs and data sheets today! Contact L.J. Star today for any questions regarding bubble traps.