Which is Better, Solvent or Aqueous Cleaning?
The answer? It depends! Surface cleaning of metal components is dependent on numerous factors.
- The type and composition of the contaminant
- The complexity of the part to be cleaned
- The type of metal
- How clean is clean?
- Available footprint within the shop operation
- Parts throughput
- Energy costs
- Waste treatment availability (in house or haul off)
At a high level, here is a chart that describes the pros and cons of the most used types of cleaning chemistries.
|Non–halogenated Solvents –Hydrocarbons||Relatively low cost|
Good for pre-cleaning
Good for non-polar soils
|Vacuum degreasers only
Less cleaning efficiency
Leaves oily residue
|Fluorinated Solvent Blends||Very stable azeotrope|
Low surface tension for precision cleaning
|High fill cost
Not as effective on heavy soils
Requires additional cooling coils
|Modified Alcohols||No pending regulations|
Low operating costs
Effective on water and oil-based soils
|High equipment costs (vacuum degreasers)
Moderate fill costs
|Aqueous Cleaning||Good cleaning capabilities – soils, oils, waxes|
Low chemical costs
Ability to recycle the chemistry
|High energy costs
Requires wastewater treatment or haul-off
It takes a lot of expertise to select the right cleaner. Therefore, companies like Hubbard-Hall ask for documentation on the type of contaminants to be cleaned off, samples of parts to trial, in-depth discussions on cleanliness requirements, current throughput, future projections…there is a lot of work involved in getting you the right cleaner for the process.
As the only supplier of both cleaning technologies, we will give you an unbiased recommendation. Which is cleaning method is best for you? Learn more.