Problematic Haze Diagnosed and Remedied in 14 Days

The Challenge

A well-known manufacturer of sound reduction products for the firearms industry was having trouble with a white haze that was appearing on certain stainless-steel parts after vapor degreasing.

The company was using an ultrasonic vapor degreaser with a fluorinated solvent to clean the parts. Some of the parts were machined with an oil-based cutting fluid, others were made with a water-based cutting fluid. It was the water-based cutting fluid that was causing the haze effect.

More than cosmetic, the haze created an issue because the parts were to be welded and could have no residue on them. Neither the degreaser manufacturer nor solvent supplier came up with a satisfactory answer to the issue.

The Approach

Hubbard-Hall’s team began by conducting a remote meeting to gather some information. We requested the SDS on the water based cutting lubricant to analyze its content and obtained the model number and specifications for the degreaser to review its performance. Parts were then sent to our Inman, South Carolina, lab to be tested and further analyzed.

Our lab technicians determined that the solvent being used would not be able to satisfactorily remove the residue left by the water-based cutting fluid. In fact, the contaminant soil was incompatible with any solvent cleaning options. So, our team recommended that the customer use an aqueous cleaning process on the parts where the water-based cutting fluid was being utilized.

The Outcome

Less than 14 days from the first phone call, Hubbard-Hall’s lab work was completed, resulting in a viable recommendation that when implemented, improved the company’s overall cleaning efficiency, reduced the possibility of rejects, and provided the manufacturer with a better product.

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Excerpt: Hubbard-Hall helped a manufacturer remove problematic haze from their product by conducting a full assessment of the cleaning system and then sending effected parts to the lab for examination. Hubbard-Hall's diagnosis revealed solvent-related issue which we solved in less than 2 weeks by recommending the manufacturer a new aqueous cleaning process.

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