TrueClean®: The Industry’s 1st CIP’able Air Blow Check Valve

Central States Industrial (CSI) is pleased to offer the innovative TrueClean® Air Blow Check Valve, designed for use in process lines for hygienic manufacturing applications. The TrueClean valve is the processing industry’s first air blow check valve that can be cleaned using clean-in-place (CIP) methods. With no disassembly required for cleaning, this valve is the first truly CIP’able air-blow valve available on the market.

Certain process-focused industries, including food & beverage processing incorporate air blow check valves into their process lines. In these industries, air blow check valves are typically used to accomplish one of two objectives.

  1. By injecting either compressed air or an inert gas into a mixing tank or a process line, the product or cleaning agent in the pipe or tank may be agitated, improving the blending or mixing of the materials.
  2. Upon completion of a production process or a CIP operation, compressed air can also be injected into the line to assist in removing any residual materials or cleaning agents.
TrueClean Air Blow Check Valve
No disassembly required for cleaning
Noosa Yoghurt Case Study Video Version

In each of these cases, the air blow check valve ensures that the compressed gas enters the process piping without any product or cleansing agent flowing back through the valve into the air supply line, and causing potential contamination. The air blow check valve, then, functions as a one-way valve separating the compressed air supply from the process piping and/or tanks.

Since air blow check valves are an integral component in the process line, they are exposed to the product during normal production operations, and thus must be cleaned regularly to eliminate sources of potential contamination.

Due to the nature of the final products produced in these industries—that is, food, dairy, or beverage intended for human consumption—the sanitary standards in production are high, and hence a great deal of attention is focused on the cleaning of production equipment.

Historically, air blow check valves have required disassembly for cleaning by hand, a process called clean-out-of-place (COP). Clean-out-of-place, however, has two major disadvantages.

  1. It’s time-consuming. The air blow check valves, in this case, must be removed from the process line, disassembled, cleaned, reassembled, and then replaced in the process line.
  2. It’s a manual process. The results from a COP operation can be inconsistent. Parts run the risk of being cleaned incompletely, or retaining residual cleaning chemicals on them when returned to operation.

In either case, the potential for introducing contaminants into the processing operations exists, and the requirements for sanitary processing may be compromised.

Air Blow Check Valve from TrueClean
The TrueClean Air Blow Check Valve from CSI is designed to be cleaned using a clean-in-place (CIP) methodology.

Cleaning production equipment such as air blow check valves using an automated CIP process is far more efficient than manual cleaning, and yields more consistent results. Patent protected, the TrueClean Air Blow Check Valve is the only valve on the market that may be cleaned using this preferred CIP method.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at CIP, then, so that we can better understand its advantages over the COP method. CIP systems clean all or part of a process system while it remains in place for production, without removing or disassembling piping or equipment to accommodate the cleaning process.

CIP systems are designed to circulate three types of chemicals through the process system, in sequence.

  • First, a pre-rinse will flush heavy soils from the line remaining from production.
  • Next, a cleaning agent (typically a detergent or acid) is recirculated through the system at elevated temperatures to break down the remaining soils.
  • Finally, a rinse will flush cleaning chemicals from the lines, sometimes followed with a sanitizing rinse.

All of these CIP chemicals run through the same process piping that is used for actual production operations, eliminating soils and contaminants from all internal surfaces.

In contrast to COP methods, CIP cleaning is quicker, more efficient, and yields more consistent cleaning results.
CIP 2.0

Most CIP systems are automated and controlled by a computer. 4 cleaning process parameters are maintained and controlled: the cleaning time, the action of the cleaning agent during operation, the concentration/conductivity of the cleaning fluid, and the temperature of the cleaning agent. In large measure, these four factors combine to create a very thorough and consistent cleaning operation.

Let’s look, next, at how the TrueClean CIP’able Air Blow Check Valve works.

Air Blow Check Valve Process Flow

As shown above, during normal process operations the seat of the TrueClean valve is sealed to prevent product from entering the valve. A secondary O-ring is also used to seal the air line. No air pressure is applied to the valve during normal process operations.

During a CIP cycle, however, air is supplied to the actuator inlet of the valve. The air pressure opens the primary valve stem but leaves the air line that enters the valve closed. The CIP fluid, then, can flow completely around the primary valve stem and within the valve internals, thoroughly cleaning the valve.

Finally, upon completion of CIP operations, and when in the air-dry mode, air is applied to both the actuator inlet and the primary air line. This opens all of the valve’s components and thoroughly dries the TrueClean unit and the process piping.

The compact TrueClean CIP’able Air Blow Check Valve does not require complex valves or controls in order to operate. And, since it’s designed to be cleaned-in-place, there is no need to remove it from the process line and disassemble the unit for cleaning. Finally, since no CIP fluids exit the valve itself, there is no need for an external drain.

TrueClean Air Blow Check Valve

While the CIP’able design makes the TrueClean valve a truly unique product in and of itself, there are other highly desirable features and benefits engineered into this valve.

  • First, the TrueClean valve is a truly sanitary design, and ideally suited for use in both food & beverage processing industries with their high hygienic standards.
  • The valve is constructed of high purity 316L stainless steel and comes with either a 1.5” or 2” Tri-Clamp® sanitary connection. Seals manufactured with either Viton or EPDM materials may also be specified.
  • The TrueClean valve has been authorized to carry the 3-A symbol under Standard 58-01 of the 3-A Sanitary Standard for vacuum breakers and check valves used in dairy operations, a particularly demanding food & beverage processing application requiring rigorous sanitary conditions.

The TrueClean valve has also been designed to fit in place of a standard air blow check valve, so the valve unit may easily be retrofitted into an existing process line. As optional accessories, 3-stage air filtration kits, hose kits, and 3-A filter disk kits are available for increased efficiency when using desiccant and refrigerant air dryers, and in order to protect sensitive instruments and machinery from water, oil, and particle contaminants.

In sum, the patented (U.S. #8,602,045) TrueClean CIP’able Air Blow Check Valve is a truly unique product for the process industry.

It is the first and only sanitary design air blow check valve that may be cleaned in place in a process line without disassembling for cleaning.

Operators of plant production lines will save time and money in cleaning their air blow check valves, eliminating manual COP processes and getting more consistent and thorough cleaning results.

Contact CSI today at 417.831.1411 to learn more about the TrueClean valve, and how it can make your process operations more efficient.


Central States Industrial Equipment (CSI) is a leader in distribution of hygienic pipe, valves, fittings, pumps, heat exchangers, and MRO supplies for hygienic industrial processors, with four distribution facilities across the U.S. CSI also provides detail design and execution for hygienic process systems in the food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and personal care industries. Specializing in process piping, system start-ups, and cleaning systems, CSI leverages technology, intellectual property, and industry expertise to deliver solutions to processing problems. More information can be found at