As environmental concerns continue to motivate many shops to clean up their act, so to speak, it’s critical to know what options are available to clean your parts in both an efficient and environmentally responsible way. However, knowing which choice is best for your shop may take years of experimentation. To give you a push in the right direction, let me give you the basics of one environmentally friendly, non-chlorinated parts cleaning process that may be successful for your application.
Hydrocarbon cleaning technology offers the reliability of solvent-based cleaning without the environmental complications of traditional chlorinated solvent washers.
In a typical system, parts rotate within the first and second cleaning steps, dislodging debris. Then there’s a vapor degreasing step followed by a drying stage. Baskets of parts can be fed into the front of the machine either manually or automatically. As the baskets are loaded into the work chamber, the door automatically locks, and the chamber is filled with cleaning fluid from the first flood tank, submerging the baskets and parts in a liquid bath. Once the parts are submerged, the cleaning media can envelop the parts completely to clean outer surfaces, as well as holes and cavities.
After the hydrocarbon bath, the cleaning fluid is drained. An optional second flood tank can provide an additional cleaning, or the hot vapor cleaning and vacuum drying process can be used to thoroughly dry the parts. Typically, the entire process takes 6 to 12 minutes, depending on the parts to be cleaned and the cleanliness of the part before the process begins.