“The indirect costs can be as much
as 2 to 4 times the direct costs,” says
Grubbe. “Not to mention potential liability, workers’ compensation issues, reg-
CHEMICAL TRANSFER TECHNIQUES
Traditional practices of transferring
liquid chemicals suffer from a number of
Manual techniques, such as the tip-and-pour method, are still common
today in laboratories and cleanrooms.
Tipping heavy barrels, however, can lead
to overpouring or the barrel toppling.
“Some companies choose to transfer of
chemicals manually, but it is extremely
difficult to control heavy drums,” cautions
Grubbe. “I’d recommend against it because
of the probability of a spill is so high.”
Although a number of pump types
exist for chemical transfer (rotary,
siphon, lever-action, piston, and elec-
tric), most are not engineered as a
sealed, contained system. In addition,
In contrast, sealed pump systems can
dramatically improve the safety and effi-
ciency of chemical transfer.
“A sealed, contained system is ideal when
dealing with a toxic, flammable, or cor-
rosive liquid,” says Grubbe. “With sealed
devices … you can maintain a controlled
containment from one vessel to another.”
Small, versatile, hand-operated pressure
pumps are engineered to work as a sealed
system. The pumps can be used for the safe
transfer of over 1,400 chemicals, including the
most aggressive acids, caustics, and solvents.
These pumps function essentially like
a beer tap. The operator attaches the
pump, presses the plunger several times
to build up a low amount of internal
pressure, and then dispenses the liquid.
The tap is configured to provide precise
control over the fluid delivery, from slow
(1ML/ 1 oz.) up to 4. 5 gallons per minute, depending on viscosity.
Because such pumps use very low
pressure (< 6 PSI) to transfer fluids
through the line and contain automatic
pressure relief valves, they are safe to use
with virtually any container from 2-gal-
lon jugs to 55-gallon drums.
ADOPTION OF SEALED PUMP SYSTEMS
Although Design Mark Industries
keeps its chemicals in a vented, explo-
sion-proof room, the supplier of mem-
brane switches, keypads, and touch-
screens sought to further improve the
safety and efficiency of transferring ace-
tone and acetate-based chemicals from
55-gallon drums into quart and 5-gallon
containers. The chemicals are used in
the screen printing process of printed
circuitry and graphic overlays.
Production Supervisor Vincent
Francisco ruled out manual pouring
because of the potential of injury and
lack of control in dispensing. Instead, he
utilized a variety of traditional pumps
including rotary, siphon, and lever-action, but found them all unsatisfactory.
“We create the safest and
most efficient laboratories in
the world where researchers
enjoy working towards a better