Diaphragm Compressors

Diaphragm Compressors

Fluitron’s Diaphragm Compressor services provide customers with expertise in designing, integrating and maintaining high quality, no leakage compressors.

Our compressors feature:

  • Leak Free Design
  • Contamination Free Compression
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • High Compression Ratios
  • High Reliability
  • Safety
  • Automatic Leak Detection

We scrutinize every part manufactured and ensure our compressors meet or exceed performance and safety standards as well as fulfill our customer’s specifications. Our staff has over 35 years of experience in compression and high pressure applications. We provide maintenance and troubleshooting for all our compressors. We even customize and improve existing systems. Here at Fluitron, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the highest quality system and support for their application. Our highly trained and experienced engineers are always available to ensure specifications are met and customers are satisfied.

WHY SPECIFY A DIAPHRAGM COMPRESSOR?

There are many types of compressors available for handling a wide range of gases. Generally the least expensive type of compressor is an oil lubricated type of a compressor. These are generally reciprocating piston compressors or screw type compressors. Both types of compressors will contaminate the process gas with the lubricating oil and allow a certain amount of leakage since the rotating shaft seals or the reciprocating piston seals are dynamic or moving seals. Dynamic seals will always allow a certain amount of leakage. The leakage can be in two forms namely out-leakage of the process gas and in-leakage of ambient air. Various designs are available for controlling the leakage such as additional seals, lantern rings for leak off control or inert gas pressurization, distance pieces with vented or pressurized chambers, etc.

Also the oil contamination can be minimized with mechanical separators, filters, mist eliminators, etc. Essentially the more that you do to control leakage and oil contamination, the more expensive the compressor will be from both an initial cost basis and the cost of operation.

Another type of compressor is the oil free or non-lubricated type. This type of compressor operates without any coolant or lubricants in contact with the process gas. The process seals on rotating shafts or reciprocating pistons are non-metallics that will run without lubrication. Because of the compromises made in seal selection and compatibility of materials of construction, you can generally expect that the process pressures will be limited and the required maintenance will be greater. Many manufacturers limited operating pressure to about 500 psig although small scale air operated or hydraulically driven equipment have run much higher pressure with limited life and a slow speed operation. Because the oil free or non-lubricated type of compressors feature dynamic seals, there will be some leakage of the process gas.

ADVANTAGES OF DIAPHRAGM COMPRESSORS

A diaphragm compressor on the other hand works on a different design principle. See principle of operation below. First there are no dynamic seals containing the process gas. Therefore, the leakage from the compressor can be controlled to a very low level by the selection of the “static” seals. For the vast majority of applications elastomeric “O” rings are acceptable and will provide extreme leak tightness depending on the process gas, size of the unit and the pressure. While it is true that there is permeation of the gas through the “O” rings, for most users they consider a diaphragm compressor leakage free. In extremely critical applications metal to metal seals are available that will initially pass and maintain leak rates of 1 x 10-8 scc/sec or better with helium gas at full operating pressures. For most applications “bubble tight” is more than sufficient.

Second, there are no lubricants or coolants in the process gas stream so there is no contamination of the process gas with any liquid. For practical purposes the gas leaving the compressor is as pure as the gas entering the compressor. Diaphragm type compressors are used for handling the purest bottled gases, breathing gas and critical industrial applications.

Generally diaphragm compressors are used primarily where leakage and/or contamination are undesirable or completely unacceptable. Because of the high pressure capability of diaphragm compressors, they are also used at pressures beyond the capability of most oil free or non-lubricated compressors. Typical applications are as follows:

Type of Gas
Typical
Flammable
Hydrogen, Ethylene, Ethane, Deuterium
Spontaneously flammable
Silane
Strong Oxidizers
Oxygen
Corrosive
Fluorine, Silicon Tetrafluoride (moist)
Toxic
Carbon Monoxide, Phosphine
Radioactive
Tritium
Expensive
Krypton, Xenon, Germane
CertificationsASME
Skidded Package OptionsAftercoolers
Automatic on/off systems
Control panels
Flow control systems
Motor starters
Pressure and temperature gauges
Pressure and temperature switches
Pressure and temperature transmitters
Pressure control systems
Pulsation Dampeners
Receiver tanks
Separators
Suction Filters
Leakage Free DesignIn the Fluitron Diaphragm Compressor there are no dynamic seals or packing glands. All of the seals to the atmosphere are static gasket or “O” ring seals. Therefore, the compressor is as free from leakage as any static seal in the system. Even in the event of a diaphragm or diaphragm seal failure the leak free integrity of the system can be maintained. Fluitron also offers a special ductile metal seal for extremely hazardous gas service which can limit leakage to 1 x 10-9 std. cc/sec. or less.
Contamination Free CompressionThe gas system is completely “dry” with no lubricants or coolants in contact with the process gas. The only parts in contact with the process gas are metal and elastomeric or plastic seals.
Corrosion ResistantStandard materials of construction are 300 series stainless steel for non-wearing process wetted metallic parts. Other alloys are available upon
request in order to provide freedom from corrosion.
Gases

Fluitron Diaphragm Compressorsare ideal for a variety of gases, including:

  • Toxic gases such as Carbon Monoxide
  • Explosive gases such as Hydrogen, Ethylene, and Methane
  • Reactive gases such as Oxygen and Fluorine
  • Expensive gases such as Neon, Krypton, and Xenon
  • Radioactive gases such as Tritium
  • High Purity gases such as Nitrogen, Helium, Argon, etc.
Automatic Leak Detection

The most important benefits of a diaphragm compressor are its freedom from leakage and contamination. These benefits are maintained in Fluitron compressors even in the event of a diaphragm rupture or a seal failure.

Fluitron compressors include an automatic leak detection and control system as standard equipment. This system will sense a failure of either the diaphragms or the seals on the diaphragm (normally “O” rings). The important feature of this system is that it provides an indication of the failure while preventing leakage to the atmosphere and contamination of the process gas due to the failure.

The basic monitoring device consists of a set of three (3) diaphragms clamped between the process gas and oil heads, Elastomeric “O” rings seal the top diaphragm to the process gas head and the bottom diaphragm to the oil head.The center diaphragm does not have any seals on it since it is designed to act as a leak path. It is normally slotted radially to channel away any leakage of gas or oil passing through the top (gas) or bottom (oil) diaphragms.

A secondary “O” ring seal is provided to trap the leaking gas or oil and direct it to the leak detection and control system.

The leak detection system is essentially a small, closed chamber with a pressure switch, gauge, relief valve and manual vent valve. As the leaking gas or oil enters the chamber the rise in pressure trips the pressure switch and provides an electrical signal for alarm or automatic shutdown. All vent connections are threaded so that they can be piped away to a safe vent area, thus, maintaining the leakage free and contamination free integrity of the compressor.

Gallery

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