Immersion cleaning is an important process for machinery manufacturing and maintenance, providing an efficient and effective means of washing parts to acceptable cleanliness standards. An immersion washing system consists of a chamber, or multiple chambers, in which parts can be completely submerged in a cleaning solution and subjected to prescribed conditions such as heat, time, agitation and drying.
Common applications for immersion cleaning services include:
- To clean and prepare materials before welding or deburring.
- To remove oil, grease and dirt from small parts and gears.
- To buff compounds and remove chips.
- To remove rust, old paint, dyes or ink from used parts.
- To prepare parts for retail packaging or remanufacturing.
- To maintain machine components in prime condition.
With a slow and thorough process, immersion washing services are perfect for bulk batches of parts as well as materials that need a long soaking time to remove all types of dirt and contaminants. The method is extremely versatile, as adjustments can be made in variables such as soaking time, chemical solution and the level of heat or agitation depending on the type of part or surface to be cleaned.
Immersion Cleaning: The Simple and Complex
The basic process of operating an immersion cleaning machine is simple and straightforward. The operator loads soiled or affected parts into the machine (often in a basket), and then the activated machine lowers parts into the immersion chamber and commences washing. The process then concludes with drying, and afterwards, parts can be extracted from the machine in clean condition.
The immersion cleaning service provider, however, is ultimately responsible for controlling crucial elements that contribute to the success or failure of the process. There are at least five primary cleaning parameters that are integral to immersion cleaning services that must be properly assessed depending on the type/shape of parts, use of the parts and standards of cleanliness. These parameters include mechanical interaction, chemistry, temperature, time and drying.
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Five Factors in Immersion Washing Services
Mechanical Interaction: Mechanical interaction plays a primary role in the cleaning process. Factors that determine the cleaning method include soaking, spraying, turbulation and vertical agitation.
Chemicals: Chemistry determines aspects such as the pH and concentration of the chemicals used in order to achieve consistent, uniform cleaning depending on the material being cleaned and the dirt or contaminant present.
Temperature: Immersion cleaning can be performed in conditions ranging from room temperature to extreme heat. Heat is a factor in how the chemical solution interacts with the materials and is essential to the drying process.
Time: The time required for soaking, spraying, agitating and achieving the appropriate level of chemical interaction is very specific in order to produce desired results.
Drying: As the final process in immersion washing, there are diverse levels of dryness required for various types of parts and products. Some application calls for a part devoid of dampness, while others require a spot-free finish.
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