Part 1: Overview of the Peristaltic Pump
In this series of articles we will discuss peristaltic pumps. The peristaltic pump is the most common delivery device for chemical solutions in most types of Autoanalyzers such as OI Analytical, Alpkem, Lachat, Seal, and Skalar. The most common and largest manufacturer of this type of pump is Ismatec. The Ismatec pumps have performed very well for several decades, and are EZkem’s pump of choice.
For Autoanalyzers, these Ismatec pumps use multi colored collared pump tubes that vary the amount of volume that gets produced. To allow for a continual flow of solutions, the pump tube roller heads gently rotate around the tubing material. The compression of the rollers/cams on the peristaltic tubing acts like a check valve in the pump keeping liquid flowing smoothly in one direction and offering a repeatable and consistent flow with each revolution. The pump tubes are held in place with an easy to remove platen that allows for micro control of each pump tube.
This steady consistent stream of solutions produced is used to mix the specific types of solutions with target analytes (such as ammonia, nitrate or phosphate) in such a way as to produce colors which are proportional to concentration.
This is the basis of the simple yet robust instrument platform known as an Autoanalyzer or Automated Chemistry Analyzer (ACA). These instrument platforms are extremely common throughout the world in EPA regulated laboratories like Waste Water Treatment Plants, commercial environmental laboratories, industrial processes, academic research facilities, and many more.
This simple and easy to configure peristaltic pump in combination with all the diverse peristaltic pump tube sizes available allows for nearly any combination of solutions and colorimetric results that are easy to configure, operate and simple to maintain.
Next in this series on Pump Tubes we will discuss the different internal tube sizes that accommodate different chemistry applications.
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