Perfect surface treatment is essential for the production of high-quality metal parts. Failure to properly prepare the surface of the part will not only damage the final appearance of the part, but also negatively affect anodizing, painting, coating, electroplating, and welding. The off-line effects of inadequately prepared parts may include a decline in production volume, part quality, and part reliability.

An effective way to obtain a high-quality surface for finishing is cleaning. Cleaning can successfully dissolve or replace common contaminants without damage and prepare the surface for finishing.

Easier cleaning of complex parts

Many finished metal parts meet high cleanliness standards and must pass black light inspection, particle count testing or water breaking analysis to ensure they meet quality requirements. In addition, parts are becoming smaller and more complex. Complex geometries, awkward shapes and internal blind holes can make them difficult to clean.

The ever-changing environmental regulations imposed on metal manufacturers today add to the difficulty of cleaning. The cleaning fluid must not only effectively clean the surface, but also must meet strict regulatory requirements and environmental sustainability standards.

Pollutants vary

Parts are exposed to a series of contaminants throughout the manufacturing process. This may include processing oils, greases, lubricants, polishing pastes, adhesives, waxes, marking inks, fingerprints and other production debris. In order to obtain an excellent surface treatment effect, it is very important to remove these dirt from the surface of the part before starting any surface treatment work. One of the most effective cleaning methods to achieve perfectly prepared parts is steam degreasing, which has high throughput and can automatically enter standard production lines.

Steam degreasing helps the cleaning of complex parts easier!

Steam degreasing

The steam degreasing machine is a closed-loop system that uses a special, low-boiling, non-flammable fluid as a cleaning agent.

The steam degreasing machine contains two chambers: a boiling tank and a washing tank. The contaminated part is immersed in a boiling tank to dissolve or remove dirt from the surface of the part. In some cases, ultrasonic agitation will add extra cleaning power. When the parts rise from the boiling tank, they will be rinsed briefly in a rinse tank filled with pure, uncontaminated fluid or in the rinse liquid vapor. After a typical cycle of approximately 6 to 20 minutes, the part becomes clean, dry, and ready for finishing.

Steam degreasing fluid

Most modern steam degreaser cleaning fluids contain a mixture of ingredients, including hydrocarbons (such as mineral spirits) or alcohol (such as isopropanol and ethanol). The combination of ingredients determines the effectiveness of the cleaning solution and its material compatibility. The steam degreaser can use a single cleaning solution, or it can be mixed, mixed or customized to remove specific dirt on a specific substrate to maximize the cleaning effect.

These fluids can effectively capture and remove soil from the most complex and complex part geometries. Their chemical properties help the entire cleaning process. For example, modern cleaning fluids generally have low surface tension and very low viscosity. This allows them to penetrate and clean very narrow spaces, such as inside blind holes or gaps between stacked components. Most steam degreasing fluids are also very heavy and dense, usually 20% to 40% heavier than water, which helps remove particles from the part. Although they are powerful cleaning agents, the cleaning fluids are designed to work without causing damage, even on fragile parts.

Sustainable parts cleaning

Part cleaning fluids are now facing more and more environmental regulations regarding composition and handling. Steam degreasers have solved these two problems.

Many modern parts cleaning fluids have improved environmental characteristics, including a very low global warming potential, which helps reduce greenhouse gas effects. They also have zero ozone depletion potential and low VOC formulation content. This enables them to meet strict regional air quality regulations and comply with global environmental directives. Many air pollutants are not considered harmful. These fluids are usually based on hydrofluoroether or hydrofluoroolefin technology, making them suitable to replace N-propyl bromide or trichloroethylene that causes air and groundwater quality problems.

The liquid is cleaned inside the steam degreaser for hundreds of cycles before it needs to be renewed or replaced. In addition, it concentrates the soil while working. This reduces waste generation and reduces hazardous waste disposal costs. And the steam degreasing process does not use water and less electricity for cleaning.

Cleaning is a key step to obtain the surface finish of high-quality parts. By using steam degreasers and modern cleaning fluids, the cleaning process can be simple, consistent and sustainable.

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