The Dangers of Salt: Where Traditional Pumps Fail
Salt damages pumps in IVD instruments. Traditional piston pumps exposed to concentrated salt solutions such as 10% NaOH, or even as benign as 0.9% saline, experience premature, catastrophic failure. It is common and expected today that seal failure of piston pumps occurs at around 1M pump cycles, or only about 1 year of service life, when exposed to salt or crystalline solutions.
Remnants of fluid collect on the piston as it passes through the seal. The moisture eventually evaporates; leaving behind salt crystals adhered to the piston surface. Over time, the salt layer thickens and abrades the seal as the piston passes back through the seal, causing disastrous grooves, leaks, and ultimately, pump failure.
Maestro ULTRA is engineered to avoid such damage from salt crystals.
The following pictures show the damage done to the typical piston pump after 1 million cycles pumping 10% NaOH.