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Understanding the different types and classifications of Barrier Isolators is important to ensure the right Barrier Isolator is selected for the right application.

This technical blog provides a basic understanding of Barrier Isolator Types and Classifications.


All products can be misapplied across all industry sectors. Therefore understanding the most appropriate product type, classification and configuration for your application is therefore THE secret to equipment longevity, operational sustainability and operator health, safety and welfare.

  • For example, you wouldn't purchase a Formula one, Lamborghini or Ferrari sports car if you intended to drive off-road on mud and dirt tracks. 
  • Equally, you wouldn't purchase a tractor if you wanted to race around a motor track at high speed.

The same selection for the application criteria applies to Barrier Isolators.

Barrier Isolator Types and ConfigurationsTypes of Barrier Isolators

The Type of Barrier Isolator is essentially split into four main areas;

Classification based on the Type of operation

  • Negative Pressure Isolator
  • Positive Pressure Isolator

Classification Based on Material of construction

  • Rigid Isolator
  • Flexible Isolator

This simple classification is illustrated in the diagram to the right. 

Negative Pressure Isolators :

  • Designed to maintain negative pressure inside
  • Used when the product is toxic, hazardous
  • Operator protection is more important
  • To prevent contamination of external environment from the product.
  • Explosive reactions
  • Controlled atmosphere such as a Nitrogen N2 atmosphere

Positive Pressure Isolators :

  • Designed to maintain positive pressure inside
  • Used when the product is sterile
  • Product protection is more important
  • To protect the product from the contamination from external environment.
  • Controlled atmosphere like sterile atmosphere

Rigid Isolators :

  • Rigid and sturdy, long life, Withstand corrosive environment, resistant for solvent atmosphere
  • Generally made of SS316L material body, Glass front panels.
  • On specific requirement it can also made from noble alloys like Hastelloy, Inconel, Titanium
  • Internal surface can be coated with PTFE or Stancoat with high chemical resistance

Flexible Isolators :

  • Made of plastic thin films, soft and flexible in nature
  • Generally made of PU, PVC, PP.
  • Operator friendly, fully transparent from 3600
  • Made to any Shape and Size
  • Non compatible with most of the solvents.
  • Two year shelf life