The Function of a Vacuum Vapor Degreaser
There are many advantages to implementing a vacuum vapor degreaser, including environmental safety, energy efficiency and flexibility.
A vacuum vapor degreaser extracts all the air out of the system and seals off the work chamber from ambient atmosphere, thus no operators are exposed to any fugitive emissions. The work is processed in a sealed chamber so no solvent is lost during processing.
Then, due to the vacuum, the boiling point of the solvent is lowered so it will boil and vaporize at a lower temperature. Therefore, less energy is used to heat the chemistry, which results in energy savings (smaller carbon footprint).
With the air removed (when the work chamber is filled with solvent and parts are immersed), the ultrasonics are more efficient in impinging on the parts due to no interference by air in the chemistry as with a typical open-top degreaser. Enhanced ultrasonics activity equals enhanced cleaning.
Vacuum vapor degreasing is among the fastest growing parts cleaning technology because of all the benefits the process offers. It uses a small amount of solvent and is also isolated from the operator and other workers in the ambient area. (Photo courtesy of Cox Manufacturing Co.)
The flexibility of the vacuum units working with the sealed chamber design allows for the following cycles based on the selected recipe to fit specific parts:
- Pre-wash with flooding action to remove gross soils
- Immersion with ultrasonics
- High-pressure sprays to rinse parts
- Complete work rotation or gentle rocking motion to break surface tension — allows for better soil removal and solvent drainage when ready
- Final pure clean solvent rinse or use of a corrosion inhibitor if needed for ferrous metals
- The vacuum drying stage is pulled down in a lower vacuum, which extracts the solvent from the parts. This allows the work to be completely dry in most cases when a cycle is complete — no drag out of solvent inside parts or on outside surfaces.
The vacuum is still pulled when the cycle is complete until it is time to open the loading door. When the door is automatically opened for the operator to remove work there is very low ppm exposure to them or the ambient area. The typical modified alcohol allowable OEL level is 500 ppm per EPA. Field testing on these units yields approximately 5 to 50 ppm based on parts and work basket design.
Read this article to learn why it’s critical to choose the right solvent for a vacuum degreaser.
Kyzen Corp. | 615-831-0888 | kyzen.com
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The development of environmentally safe, yet effective solvents has kept vapor degreasing at the forefront of cleaning operations for metalworking.
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