Degreasing processes designed to guarantee an impeccable level of cleanliness are the main tool to ensure the integrity of pipes and special components over time.
In the quest to find the “perfect” cleaning system for metal components, it is essential to shift the focus on contaminants and the entire series of tests needed to identify and remove them.
In the aerospace sector and, in general, in all those sectors where the technological component is dominant, pipe cleaning is one of the basic requirements for the correct functioning of the machinery on which the components in question will be mounted in.
In order to be able to certify that they have reached excellent cleaning standards, companies do not just analyze the contaminants before the washing cycles: tests and checks are in fact repeated even after the components have been treated.
EST-STD-CC1246E, that’s where cleanliness levels are defined
The levels of cleanliness have been defined by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technologies (IEST) in the document Product Cleaning Levels: applications, requirements and determination known as EST-STD-CC1246E.
Focus of the entire document: the contaminants that can negatively influence the performance of the final products.
Final objective: to verify that, once the washing cycle has been completed, a cleaning level has been reached such as to eliminate residues, fibers and dirt particles smaller than one micron.
Particles and fibers belong to the category of solid contaminants, which often end up on the surface of special components during the production process or during maintenance operations when the surface comes into contact with the external environment.
Examples of solid contaminants include metals, plastics and silicate components; instead we talk about fibers referring to those contaminants that have a length / width ratio equal to or greater than 10: 1.
Pipes and special components are cleaned from this type of particles and fibers using a specific solution that is collected inside a beaker and then filtered: the filters are finally viewed and measured under a microscope.
This procedure is necessary for maximum precision cleaning.
Fats and oils from hydrocarbons belong to the category of residues: due to their sticky and semi-liquid nature, this type of contaminants must be eliminated by immersing tubes and special metal components inside the appropriate solvent.
The choice of solvent depends on the required cleaning levels and the nature of the surface treated.
The components are immersed in the solution in which a certain amount of solvent is dissolved: at the end of the cleaning cycle the “dirty” solution is placed inside a clean container.
The same solution is then filtered to clean the solvent of impurities.
Ultraviolet rays to identify contaminants in an alternative way
Inspection through ultraviolet rays is usually used when no fluid has come into contact with the surface of pipes and special components.
Within a dark room, ultraviolet rays allow the detection of residues of grease and hydrocarbon oil, but there are some surrounding areas in which this method is not effective.
Usually the ultraviolet light test is not performed for systems where high purity gaseous oxygen is found at high pressure.
There are several viable alternatives to the UV rays method, for example infrared rays that allow to detect the presence of hydrocarbon contaminants inside the test solvent.
Hermetic and Percloroethylene washing cycles, this is how FIRBIMATIC cleans pipes and special components
In a historic moment in which managers and engineers face the difficult challenge of identifying an effective and reasonable price washing method for industrial metal components every day.
Aqueous, semi-aqueous, highly flammable hydrocarbon solvents: the challenge for managers and engineers every day is to identify the highly effective and reasonably priced washing process for metal components.
Chlorinated solvents are considered as one of the interesting alternatives as they allow to obtain a high quality final cleaning result able to comply with the previously analyzed requirements.
But how to manage the emissions during the wash cycle? How to deal with and manage the problems deriving from the use of Percloroethylene, the most effective chlorinated solvent?
Hermetic washing cycles
FIRBIMATIC has identified the solution to these questions by offering its customers industrial hermetically sealed cleaning machines.
The degreasing operations of pipes and special other components are carried out under vacuum in sealed chambers where the solvent is introduced only after their closure.
The steam released in the drying phase is recovered to try to reduce all possible emissions to a minimum: the vacuum system allows you to control the possible loss of solvent between 98 and 99%.
This solution is particularly effective in the presence of components with a geometry characterized by cracks and edges that are difficult to reach.
This is why it is possible to use Perchlorethylene safely: thanks to the technological achievements and new developments underway, this chlorinated solvent is the most effective of all!
All this has allowed our company to overcome all those industrial realities that due to wrong perceptions about the regulatory status of chlorinated solvents, are always looking for alternative solutions.
I suggest you read this article we wrote some time ago: click here and discover one of FIRBIMATIC’s great success stories!