Valve bladders – the result of more than 30 years of research & development

Bladders for valves, especially pinch valves, have been a clear focus of the research & development work at AKO Armaturen for more than 30 years. They are a fundamental component of every AKO valve.

The selection of the right bladder has a decisive influence on the service life and reliability or safety when isolating and regulating all types of pumped media.

The design of valve bladders from AKO

Bladders from AKO Armaturen have been designed to handle the highest demands and have a long service life. This why only those compound grades that have been tested and developed over many years are used. Depending on the area of application and the intended pumped medium, various manual or mechanical manufacturing processes are also utilised.

Valve bladders from AKO generally consist of three main components (also see here the adjacent image):

  1. Bladder cover
    Describes the outer skin of the bladder to which the control medium is applied
  2. Bladder reinforcement on the inside
    The special fabric reinforcement in the inside of the bladder ensures a long service life – even after numerous closing and opening intervals. In addition, this fabric prevents undesired deformation.
  3. Bladder core
    The inner cover of the bladder is one of the most important components. It is in direct contact with the pumped medium and the elastomer grade must be specifically selected to handle the respective medium.
Design of a bladder for valves from AKO
The design of valve bladders from AKO

Bladders for AKO valves are easy to maintain

The bladders for AKO valves have also been designed so that they can be easily and quickly replaced. Long downtimes due to worn bladders are thus a thing of the past. Special tools or expertise are not required. Maintenance work on the valve or the valve bladder can be easily carried out on-site by your own employees themselves.

We have produced our own maintenance instructions for every valve series that guide you step-by-step through the maintenance tasks and have made them available on our website or our YouTube channels.
For example, you can view the adjacent instructions for how to change a bladder on a valve from the VMC series.

Contact us about your valve bladder requirements

Valve bladders from AKO are available in various grades

The valve bladders from AKO are available in various rubber grades. Different elastomer grades are suitable depending on the medium being controlled, the ambient temperature or temperature of the medium or the operating and differential pressure.

Rubber grades available for the valve bladders:

  • Natural rubber (NR)
  • Viton (FPM)
  • Nitrile (NBR)
  • Neoprene (CR)
  • Butyl (IIR)
  • Hypalon (CSM)
  • EPDM

Bladders for valves with EHEDG certification

If you want to control or isolate foodstuffs, chemicals or pharmaceutical products, AKO also offers EHEDG-certified bladders for valves. Furthermore, special flange bladders that can also cover the transitions between the valve and pipe and thus protect them from direct contact with the pumped medium are available.

These bladders are compatible with standard in-place cleaning and sterilisation processes SIP (Sterilization-In-Place) and CIP (Cleaning-In-Place). Some bladder and valve configurations are also piggable and thus RIP compatible (Rinse-In-Place)

The following video shows the individual EHEDG-conform cleaning or sterilisation processes on a valve with an internal bladder.

Bladders for valves from AKO are suitable for a broad range of applications

Due to the various compound grades tested for the bladders, they have been designed to handle the special requirements of a variety of different pumped materials and guarantee a long service life, quick opening and closing times and reliable isolation or control of the product flow. 

Bladders for AKO valves can be used with relatively easy to control media such as pure liquids and also with abrasive media such as bulk materials, sugar and salts or even with substances that tend to clump or clog that would pose a challenge for standard valves.

Bladders from AKO have been successfully deployed for many years in the following industrial sectors:

  • Chemical & pharmaceutical
    For chemicals, lacquers, pigments, fertilisers,
    powders, tablets or liquid medicines, etc.
  • Food processing industry
    For the hygienic processing of liquid, viscous,
    clumpy and powdered foodstuffs, etc.
  • Plastic processing
    For plastic granules, additives, etc.
  • Ceramics manufacturing
    For solids, sludge, slags, etc.
  • Environmental and wastewater technology
    For wastewater, dusts, sludge, suspensions, etc.
  • Building material processing
    For cement, concrete, gravel, gypsum, grout, etc.
  • Commercial vehicles and trains
    For blow pipes for bulk goods of all types, tanker valves,
    controlling sewage and grey water, etc.
  • Silos
    As a safety component to prevent overfilling,
    as a valve for distribution and removal,
    for closing off inlet lines, etc.
  • Mining
    For coal, stones, minerals, ores, etc.

    The functions of the bladders in AKO valves

    The bladders are responsible for several main tasks in the valves from AKO:

    • The bladder... controls the applied flow using compressed air
    • The bladder... is responsible for safely and tightly sealing off the pumped medium
    • The bladder... also releases the product flow again
    • The bladder... is in direct contact with the medium and must withstand its sometimes highly abrasive properties
    • The bladder... is required to cope with various temperatures and pressures
    • The bladder... must guarantee an untapered flow of the medium in its opened state

    The fulfilment of all of these requirements is the result of decades of research & development, contributes to the fact that bladders for valves from AKO Armaturen are the best in their class and makes AKO the world leader in mechanically or pneumatically operated valves.

    Enquire about bladders for your valves from the market leader AKO!

    Valve bladders are available in a diverse range of lengths, nominal sizes, materials and designs. We would be pleased to advise you on which bladder is the right choice for your valve and your requirements.

    Alongside standard bladders available direct from the factory, we can also offer you bladder solutions that have been produced specifically to meet your individual requirements.

    We look forward to receiving your enquiry.

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