Industry standards for dead legs in biopharmaceutical processing equipment have been in place for over a decade. A dead leg is defined as an area of entrapment in a vessel or piping run that could lead to contamination of the product (ASME BPE 2012 GR-8). While an L/D (ratio of length leg over diameter of leg) of six may have been the historical maximum acceptable ratio, multiple studies promote designing to an L/D less than two. The drivers for reducing the L/D ratio are cleanability and the fact that today’s technology renders the L/D target of two or less achievable.
The purpose of this document is to provide information on the flow conditions required to displace air from piping branches in a timely manner. When air is displaced from the branched fitting, the cleaning solution comes in contact with the branched piping components being cleaned-in-place (CIP’ed) and effective cleaning can occur. Without contact of CIP solutions, there is no cleaning. The focus of this document is on the flow conditions required to ensure contact of the cleaning solution with the branched fittings – a key requirement for cleaning.