Maybe the floors at your shop do need to be vacuumed periodically, but vacuum cleaning now has a different meaning in the metalworking industry. Dürr Ecoclean has developed a vacuum parts cleaning system, also called hydrocarbon cleaning, that may become a preferred method for parts cleaning in the U.S.
Compared with its vapor degreasing counterpart, the new system has more advantages. First, because it emits no VOCs, it avoids environmental regulation for emissions and disposal. According to one shop, in the article titled “Simple, Effective Parts Cleaning,” there is no requirement to register with the EPA when using this system, and there is a lifetime operating permit instead of an annual permit because the hydrocarbon solvent is environmentally friendly. The new system is also described as a very fast cleaning method as well as easy to use, requiring minimal training.
Also, the process produces no waste, and it is closed loop, allowing the hydrocarbon to be used indefinitely.
The fact that the new system cleans in a vacuum is beneficial alone, because the flashpoint of the hydrocarbon fluid increases, allowing more heat to be used to clean the parts that would not be possible without a vacuum. The nominal flash point of the isoparaffin fluid (similar to diesel fuel) for general cleaning is around 140°F. Under a vacuum, it can be safely heated to 170°F for more efficient cleaning. The higher temperature lowers the viscosity of the hydrocarbon fluid.
To learn more about the Dürr vacuum cleaning process, read “A Vacuum Cleaner for Machined Parts”.
While we always recommend a clean shop environment, vacuum parts cleaning is definitely more interesting and practical for your shop than vacuuming your floors.