What should our inspections focus on before installing sanitary clamps?

In a proper installation, the gasket is slightly compressed (not overly so), and the bead is centered in the ferrule groove. The gasket’s inside diameter should be aligned with the pipe’s inside diameter so that there is no intrusion or void. The alignment here is critical—it must be precise and even on all sides. Any irregularities will result in inconsistent or incomplete compression.

Sometimes the ferrules are not perfectly aligned. If they meet at an angle, one side will be over-compressed and another will have gaps that can harbor cleaning solution or process material. For this reason the maximum allowable misalignment is only one to three degrees, dependent on the size of the ferrule (i.e. the bigger the ferrule, the less misalignment is acceptable. When a clamp is tightened as specified, the ferrules draw together very slightly; for example on a BPE ferrule, a secure seal compresses the gasket only .3 millimeters, or twelve-thousandths of an inch. This should ensure even compression. It helps to have quality sanitary clamps which are properly-designed and precisely-machined.

After thoroughly inspecting the hygienic clamp, it’s time to install it. This process must be done carefully and accurately. Otherwise, you again risk compromising the clamp’s seal. Start by positioning the gasket between the ferrule flanges. Make sure that the ferrules are completely aligned, that the gap is properly-sized (and that the clamp is not used to pull pipes or other components into alignment. Rather, align everything before installing the clamp.

Make sure that the gasket bead fits the grooves of both ferrule flange faces. Then mate the faces together. Both flanges should be within the clamp groove. Ensure that everything is properly aligned, and then apply and tighten the clamp.

As the clamp is tightened, it squeezes on the flanges, pushing the ferrules toward each other. This process ensures a proper seal, and the clamp connection should end up perfectly aligning the two ferrules to achieve a uniform crush on the gasket.