Switching to Aqueous Cleaning
Aqueous and organic solvent cleaning are commonly taking the place of solvent vapor degreasing in metalworking shops, mainly because they are safer for the environment and for workers in the shop where they are used. If your shop is in need of making the switch to aqueous cleaning, there are several articles on Production Machining’s website that can help.
According to “Choosing an Aqueous Parts Washing System,” the first step in choosing any cleaning system should start with understanding the soil to be removed as well as the parts from which that soil needs to be removed. You should know how clean the parts need to be and what the measure of cleanliness is.
Next, a test cleaning machine should be brought in on the shop floor by a supplier found here at productionmachining.com, if you don’t already have a supplier. Test data will gather specific information about temperature, operating concentration, the mechanical energy and more importantly, the length of time required for effective cleaning.
The type of cleaning equipment needed should also be determined. According to “Fast Track to Rugged Aqueous Cleaning,” the three cleaning stages—wash, rinse and dry—aren’t always necessary for every operation. You should determine whether or not you need the rinse and dry cycles, and set a budget.
The cleaning chemistry and cleaning equipment have to be considered in parallel. The appropriate chemical blend for your process also depends on the soil being removed and on the surface being cleaned.
To read about a shop’s process of moving from an old chlorinated solvent cleaning machine to aqueous cleaning, read “Moving Away from Solvent Vapor Degreasing.”
Although not every shop has been affected by cleanliness specifications, many suppliers to automotive OEMs are already complying with stringent cleanliness standards. In Ford Motor Co.’s case, it has created its own cleanliness standards in order to save money and credibility.
A high-pressure waterjet blasts away burrs and machining residues that resist more traditional cleaning methods.
Machining operations such as turning, milling, drilling and grinding leave traces of contaminants behind on workpieces. Ultrasonic cleaning allows for the removal of coolant, chips, polishing paste and other residue in a quick, reliable and economical manner.