Parts cleaning is like mowing the lawn: Nobody wants to do it, but it must be done. And while you’re at it, you might as well do it right by being efficient and economical. Using the best equipment for the job is essential.
Therefore, when thinking about parts cleaning, vapor degreasing is one option worth looking into. Vapor degreasing is an environmentally friendly way to clean parts because safe solvents are used during the process, or in some applications, no chemicals at all. Sometimes the steam or vapor produced by the system is enough to clean the parts.
The method of vapor degreasing is effective because the cleaning process is fast, requiring a small amount of labor; oils, grease and other soils are removed efficiently; many vapor degreasing machines don’t take up much shop floor space; parts cleaned with this type of system dry quickly; and often, the solvents used can be recovered and recycled.
The process begins with a heat source boiling the liquid solvent (or water). At this point, the liquid produces very hot, heavy vapors, which are then cooled by condenser coils. Because the solvent vapors are heavier than air, they push the air above the vapor line on to the parts and equipment to be cleaned. Condensation dissolves the greases and oils on the parts and flushes them away.
Vapor degreasing uses a fraction of the energy of most other cleaning processes. Compared with aqueous systems, a vapor degreaser typically uses one-fifth the energy for heat up and one-seventh the amount for drying.
To learn more about vapor degreasing and its applications, read A Closer Look at Vapor Degreasing Technology. Still Valuable offers information on the evolution of vapor degreasing and why it’s still the process of choice for some applications.