Keywords: parts cleaning, water-based cleaning, aqueous cleaning, oil skimmers, microfilters, solvent replacement, maintenance workshops, manufactured parts, cleaning solution lifetime, cleaning solutions, residuals
Aqueous cleaning of manufactured parts/components: establishing the role of solution quality
Parts cleaning has gradually replaced solvent based cleaning during the manufacturing of parts and in maintenance workshop as a much more sustainable and cost benefit technology. In this study, the performance of aqueous parts cleaning was evaluated using two industrial parts cleaning systems. One system was equipped with a microfilter and oil skimmer to prolong the cleaning solution lifetime and the other was a generic parts cleaning system, which was not equipped with any contaminant control devices. It appears that aqueous parts cleaning could offer a high degree of cleanliness suitable for most typical maintenance workshops. However, the cleaning equipment used was critical to successful aqueous cleaning. The use of a microfilter and oil skimmer can reduce the amount of residuals left on parts and significantly extend solution life.