White Paper — Sponsored Content

Bearing and Magnetic Coupling Design for Magnetically Driven Agitators in Bioprocess

Milena McFeeters
Bart Duijvelaar, M.Sc. MBA
Bearing and Magnetic Coupling Design for Magnetically Driven Agitators in Bioprocess - ISPE Pharmaceutical Engineering


The most common purpose of agitation in biopharmaceutical processing is liquid/liquid and solid/liquid blend (solutions and suspensions). Agitators are performing their duty while submerged in a fluid phase, and consequently designed for this intended use, considering that running in air would not fit any purpose. However, when dealing with partly manually controlled standard operating procedures (SOPs), or due to different sequences alternating process fluids with clean-in-place (CIP) and steam-in-place (SIP), combined with a relatively basic automation, the risk of having an agitator running without liquid is present. In the case of top entry agitators, this may not constitute a condition that could damage the equipment. For bottom entry agitators, the situation may be more complex and may result in damage to mechanical seals, or bearings (in the case of magnetically driven agitators) that rely on the process fluids for lubrication. This article discusses different bearing designs and materials of construction typically available and dry-running.

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