China Array manufactures complete milking claws composed of high performance polymers, stainless steel, silicone and rubber.
It's hard to imagine that such mundane parts require such high performance materials. . . read on.
Chemical Resistant: the standard Clean-in-Place (CIP) protocol uses alkaline detergents and an acid rinse at 1850 F. Part must also be impervious to milk fat.
Dimensional Stability: plastic bowl connects to stainless top with quarter. Threads must accurately align outlet and claw body.
Temperature Tolerant: manifold is exposed to temperatures ranging from 1850 F for CIP cleaning to minus 400 F during the night in unheated milking parlors.
Impact & Tensile Strength: manifold must stand up to the impact of kicks and drops, as well as the torsion exerted by twisting hoses.
Precise Tolerances: a water tight and vacuum tight seal between the shutoff and the manifold is required to stop milk flow in the event of an unexpected drop off.
Wear-ability: Parts are used up to 20 hours per day 7 days a week in harsh conditions.
Clarity: visual inspection of milk flow requires long term transparency.
A milk shutoff (photo at left) is small, but vital, part of a milking system. Floating inside the milking chamber, the shutoff must drop down and seal off the milk inlet in the event of a drop off to prevent debris and bacteria from entering the milking claw. Molded perfectly round, the shutoff seals against a precision machined depression in the bottom of the polysulfone claw for a perfect seal: plastic to plastic.
The shutoff must be hollow to float on milk. This is achieved by molding a separate body and cap, which are then ultrasonically welded for a hermetic seal.