Vapour Degreasing Cleaner using solvents
There are many solutions for degreasing workpieces. In the past, use was often made of trichlorethylene, fluorinated hydrocarbons and Isopropyl alcohol (IPA). However, these liquids involve many environmental and safety hazards. Degreasing in water-based systems is a worthy alternative. However, the operational costs of these types of machines are relatively high. Not only heating the liquids for cleaning and rinsing, but also drying with hot air causes a high electricity consumption. For good results it is important that you change the liquids regularly. Costs due to the high water consumption and the processing of the waste water add up quickly. Affordable degreasing in a sustainable and efficient way is possible with modern solvents in a vapor degreaser.
Fast and powerful degreasing with safe means for people and the environment, that is possible with the range of solvent cleaners that Kemet offer. The dimensions vary from handy and mobile (approx. 622 x 870 x 1050 mm) to a compact machine (approx. 2000 x 1000 x 3000 mm).
Developments in chemistry make thorough cleaning possible. At the same time, ozone depletion and fire hazard are excluded. The low GWP and toxicity make these solvents very easy to use.
Despite the compact footprint of a vapor degreaser, the cleaning process consists of several essential phases to achieve a perfect result. You bring the solvent to the boiling point (often 40 - 45 ° C). In a first phase, the solvent vapours condense on the workpiece surface. Much of the contamination flows with the solvent from the workpiece and ends up in the cooking tank. After this pre-cleaning, the part is placed in a second tank. The immersion in the clean solvent and the ultrasonic agitation thoroughly clean the workpiece, even in hard-to-reach places. Then, by reinserting the part into the distilled solvent vapor zone, the vapor purge removes any residual oil or grease residue. Cooling coils above the vapor phase condense the solvent so that it flows back into the machine. The liquid is thus continuously distilled and reused.
Thanks to the low temperature of the entire process, you degrease thermally sensitive workpieces without risk. The drying process is so fast that a capacity of 10 batches per hour is no exception. Thanks to the low surface tension, you can easily clean small bulk goods or workpieces with complex geometries.
- Super fast, cycle time of about 5 to 6 minutes;
- Hand warm, clean and dry end result;
- Based on non-flammable solvents;
- No risk of corrosion, because no water is used;
- Low energy consumption, less than half of traditional heated systems;
- Small footprint, takes up little space;
- Environmentally friendly;
- Optionally manually or fully automated;
- Nice touchscreen for programming the cycle.
- Removal of fats, oils, inks, polishing and lapping pastes;
- Degreasing for control in the measuring room;
- Degreasing of small mould inserts;
- Cleaning of precision mechanical parts;
- NOT SUITABLE for the removal of water based pollution.
What is Vapour Degreasing?
Vapour degreasing is a process that uses a solvent in a closed chamber to create a vapour that dissolves contaminants on metal and plastic parts. The solvent is heated to its boiling point, and the vapour created rises and condenses on the parts being cleaned, dissolving the contaminants. The process is used in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, and electronics, to clean precision components.
How Does Vapour Degreasing Work
The vapour degreasing process involves four main steps: solvent selection, heating, vapourisation, and condensation. The solvent used in the vapour degreasing process must be chosen carefully based on the type of contaminants present on the parts being cleaned. Solvents such as trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, and methylene chloride are commonly used for degreasing applications because of their low boiling points and high solvency power. Once the solvent is chosen, it is heated to its boiling point. Heating the solvent causes it to evaporate and rise into the degreasing chamber. The heated solvent rises into the degreasing chamber and forms a vapour. The solvent vapour envelops the parts being cleaned, and the vapours penetrate into every crevice and contour of the parts. After the vapours have penetrated the parts, they begin to cool down and condense. As they condense, the solvents dissolve the contaminants on the parts and become heavier. The condensed solvent droplets then drip off the parts and collect at the bottom of the degreasing chamber, where they are drained and filtered for reuse.
Vapour degreasing offers several advantages over other cleaning methods. Some of the benefits include: High cleaning efficiency: Vapour degreasing can remove a wide range of contaminants, including oil, grease, wax, and flux residues. The process is also effective in removing complex geometries and hard-to-reach areas. No water required: Unlike aqueous cleaning methods, vapour degreasing does not require water, which can lead to oxidation and rust formation on metal parts. Low solvent consumption: Vapour degreasing is a closed-loop process, which means that the solvent is constantly recycled and reused. This reduces the amount of solvent used, making it a cost-effective and environmentally friendly cleaning method.
Although vapour degreasing is an effective cleaning process, it can be hazardous if proper safety measures are not taken. Some of the safety measures that need to be considered include: Proper ventilation: The degreasing chamber must be equipped with adequate ventilation to prevent the accumulation of solvent vapours, which can be harmful to workers. Personal protective equipment: Workers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including gloves, goggles, and respiratory protection, when working with solvents. Proper handling and storage: Solvents should be handled and stored in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. This includes proper labelling, storage, and disposal.
Vapour Degreasing in Trichloroethylene
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a clear, colourless liquid with a sweet odour that was widely used as a solvent for vapour degreasing in various industries. However, TCE has been phased out for this purpose due to its harmful effects on human health and the environment.
One of the primary reasons why TCE is no longer used for vapour degreasing is its potential to cause serious health problems. Exposure to TCE can result in skin irritation, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Furthermore, TCE has been linked to more serious health issues such as cancer and damage to the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 parts per million (ppm) for TCE, which is considered to be a dangerous level of exposure.
In addition to its harmful effects on human health, TCE also poses a significant risk to the environment. TCE is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that can easily evaporate into the air, leading to the formation of ground-level ozone and smog. TCE can also contaminate groundwater and soil, which can have long-term effects on the ecosystem.
To address these concerns, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established regulations to phase out the use of TCE for vapour degreasing. The EPA has identified several safer alternatives to TCE, including modified alcohols, hydrofluoroethers, and other non-flammable solvents.
Modified alcohols are one of the most commonly used alternatives to TCE. These solvents are generally safer for human health and the environment and are effective at removing oils, greases, and other contaminants from metal parts. Hydrofluoroethers are another alternative that has been gaining popularity in recent years. These solvents have a low boiling point, making them ideal for vapour degreasing, and are not classified as VOCs, making them safer for the environment.