Seen and Solved

Have a difficult problem? Those are the types of challenges that our experts thrive on! And with over 170 years of metal finishing experience there is a likelihood that we have “Seen and Solved” a problem just like yours! Enjoy these blog entries from our experts as they go out in the field and share their latest stories.  And most importantly, don’t forget to challenge us!

 

Using Too Much TCE?, It’s Probably Your Degreaser

‘I have used TCE for years. Never had a problem. Now it’s a problem!’ Let’s face it, you are in the business of producing metal parts, not dealing with chemistry. If the solvent isn’t cleaning effectively, you simply add more. You probably test for acid acceptance, but not frequently. So why isn’t that enough now? Older open top degreasers used a lot of solvent ... Read More
 

Which is Better, Solvent or Aqueous Cleaning?

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 h... Read More
 

TCE going acid. What That Means and How to Prevent It.

How does TCE go acid? Some common conditions that can cause the TCE to go acid are; Excess water from condensation Wet parts Damaged cooling coils Chlorinated oils Water-based cutting fluids Always check with the manufacturer of the vapor degreasing equipment or the supplier of the solvent for guidance. How do I know if my TCE has gone acid? An acid acceptance test is the most accurate way to de... Read More
 

Heat Treat Furnaces – Why Parts Cleaning is So Important

When considering proper pre and post cleaning of parts, quality is just one consideration for captive heat treaters and commercial shops. The other is the damage that both vacuum and atmospheric furnaces can incur, leaving shops with costly problems to their equipment including: loss of vacuum, contamination to future runs, smoke bombs and shortened quench oil life. Vacuum Furnaces 3 major manufac... Read More
 

How to Improve Run Times in Your Plating Membrane System

A question from a customer: We are a zinc-chloride plater and flow 15,000 gallons per day through a membrane system. We struggle with keeping the membranes running properly. We average between 36 and 48 hours of run time before we must stop and clean the membranes. What can we do to improve the run time? Matt Hansen, Wastewater Specialist: “That’s a great question, and in my personal ... Read More
 

Removing Metals from Wastewater

A conversation with Hubbard-Hall’s Robin Deal Robin is a Field Service Engineer specializing in industrial wastewater treatment for 7 years. She spends much of her time in the field educating customers while helping them meet their wastewater permit requirements. When in the lab Robin is working toward finding efficient ways for customers to transform their wastewater treatment processes to ... Read More
 

Reducing Total Suspended Solids in Zinc-Nickel Lines

A question from a customer: “We are a zinc-nickel plater with a discharge of 80,000 gpd. While we are able to meet our zinc and nickel discharge numbers, we struggle with our total suspended solids (TSS). We have a small floc formation with slow settling. We have solids coming over our weir. What can we do to help solve this problem?” A: When we look at hydroxide precipitation of ... Read More
 

"Soft" Metal Staining, Post Cleaning

I work with many metal finishers that clean the “soft” metals, specifically aluminum and copper alloys.  One common, and more recurring issue I see, is staining of these alloys after the forming lubricants are removed in a cleaning step. In the push to go green, many fabricators are switching to water emulsifiable metal working fluids. The formulators of these lubes use different ... Read More
 

Cleaning is more than chemistry..... Again

I present to industry on a regular basis, about the importance of “Process over Product” when it comes to getting clean parts in your metal finishing operation. This was reinforced to me more than ever, during an onsite cleaning trial at a new customer this week. In this particular case we are cleaning a critical aluminum part, and a improved cleaner was needed. But it is only part of ... Read More
 

5 Steps to Adding Electropolishing

Surveys show that only 25% of all metal finishing operations in North America offer electropolishing to their customers. With a possible rise in the need for electropolishing thanks to reshoring efforts for medical parts and equipment, demand could outpace availability as manufacturers seek to find finishers to electropolish those parts to a high specificity. Fortunately, electropolishing lines ar... Read More
 

What Causes Hazy Effluent?

Tackling Hazy Water Hassles With Absolute Clarity When it comes to cloudy wastewater, there are any number of reasons you can find yourself in a fog. From residual emulsified oil and surfactants to overdosing on polymers and coagulants, Hubbard-Hall’s wastewater treatment technical team can help you diagnose and treat the problem.  What are some of the reasons for the cloudy wastewater?... Read More
 

Myth #1

Myths of Cleaning Myth 1 of 8: Water is Obviously “Cheaper” than Solvents Regular city water alone won’t clean anything. It needs surfactants and detergents that lower surface tension and remove soils. These are consumed during cleaning and need replenishing. Higher temperatures are needed to activate cleaning chemistry, which is important for ensuring good wetting and evaporatio... Read More
 

Myth #2

Myths of Cleaning Myth 2 of 8: Aqueous Systems Can’t Be Used in Critical Cleaning First, let’s be clear that “critical cleaning” has a very specific meaning. It refers to the removal of sub-micron particles and non-volatile residues. It’s required when any surface contamination would yield adverse effects. While many processes and products might qualify, the term is u... Read More
 

Myth #3

Myths of Cleaning Myth 3 of 8: Aqueous cleaning is always “safer” than solvent There’s a misapprehension that “Aqueous Cleaning” refers to cleaning with water. While water is involved, and under the right circumstances can be a solvent, in aqueous cleaning systems the water contains additives. These have several functions, such as lowering surface tension, creating ch... Read More
 

Myth #4

Myths of Cleaning Myth 4 of 8: Solvents are all BAD! “Solvent” is an extremely broad term. Any substance that will dissolve another is, technically, a solvent, and that includes water. However, in popular parlance, “solvent” often refers to chemicals that will dissolve oil and grease. Examples include acetone, isopropanol, ethanol and butyl acetate. If these names appear fa... Read More
 

Myth #5

Myths of Cleaning Myth 5 of 8: Solvents will all be banned through government regulation It’s true that for some classes of solvents their use either has been or is in the process of being phased out. However, many others are still permitted, although in some cases there are regulations regarding aspects of usage like ventilation. In general, authorities like the EPA take the view that solve... Read More
 

Myth #6

Myths of Cleaning Myth 6 of 8: Solvent cleaning is always the most efficient process Solvents make very effective cleaners, in the right application. The key points to consider are, what is being cleaned, what is it being cleaned of, and what is it being cleaned for? Solvents are highly effective for dissolving oils and their low surface tension enables good penetration and evaporation. Solvent cl... Read More
 

Myth #7

Myths of Cleaning Myth 7 of 8: Market is Dominated by Aqueous Cleaning Compared to solvent cleaning, aqueous is still the newcomer, even though it has been in use for two decades. Use of aqueous cleaning is undoubtedly on the rise, but to say it dominates the market is just incorrect. Precision cleaning in particular, is a sector where solvent cleaning dominates. The key, when choosing a cleaning ... Read More
 

Myth #8

Myths of Cleaning Myth 8 of 8: Cleaning is All About Picking a Chemistry Chemistry is important for sure. The solvent or aqueous cleaner must be compatible with the soil or contamination you want to remove, but it’s more complicated than that. Consider also the material to be cleaned: some cleaners will damage some surfaces. Then there’s the degree of cleaning or cleanliness desired. O... Read More
 

Cleaning High-Value, Complex Parts for Aerospace Applications

Recently, a leading manufacturer of high-value parts for the aerospace industry ran into a cleaning challenge – namely, the cleanliness of parts going through its vacuum brazing process. The existing process was falling short – and experiencing a high field failure rate. Compounding the challenge was a large variation of aluminum alloys and forming processes of the parts. The customer ... Read More
 

4 Requirements For A Reliable Rinsing Process

A quick list of the most important factors to bear in mind when determining your rinsing process. Water is becoming an increasingly expensive commodity with even further restrictions in certain areas of the country (pity the poor folks in California). As a result, there has never been a better time to give some thought to maximizing the efficiency of your rinsing process. Put simply, rinsing is a ... Read More