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Precision Cleaning

January 10th 2023

What are Solvent Cleaning Agents?

In the precision cleaning industry, cleaning agents exist in all forms, as a liquid, spray, powders, or granules, each consisting of different chemical makeups. Solvent cleaning is an important part to the success of a company such as in the industries of aerospace, defense, medical device, electronic parts, computer technology, pharmaceuticals, and much more. In fact, equipment and materials in these industries must be cleaned so thoroughly that they have to pass a microscopic inspection of their surfaces. Many consumer goods must pass cleanliness checks to ensure that the business provides you with safe and clean products.

When determining which solvent to choose, you must consider the properties. A good solvent would have low VOC (volatile organic compounds), in reference to substances that may have properties that are harmful to the environment or to humans. It should also have better toxicity profiles and high TLVs (threshold limit value), meaning that working under conditions with these chemicals do not present adverse effects when working over extended periods of time within the industry.

Solvent cleaning assists many different industries, such as:

  • Electronics
  • Aerospace/Military
  • Medical Devices
  • Precision Cleaning
  • Pharmaceuticals

The type of end-use or further processes in a company’s product development will determine the level of cleanliness that is needed. There are two main reasons for cleaning electronics; to remove contaminants and to prepare product for further assembly. Contaminants include solder flux, oxides, dirt, dust, oils, and various other residues. Removal of these contaminants is important because some residue particles may cause corrosion or may cause short circuits, making precision cleaning a very necessary process.

How does Solvent Cleaning Agents Work in Precision Cleaning?

Solvent molecules surround the residue molecules, thus breaking the residue down into smaller and smaller particles until the residue is eliminated from the PCB surface.

The solvent cleaning agent industry recognizes many different procedures to remove unwanted contaminants from their products:

  • Solvent degreasing – the process used to prepare a part for further operations such as electroplating or painting
  • Vapor degreasing – the process of condensing solvent vapors on an object
  • Solvent wipe – hand held wipe that is applied to the surface of an object for cleaning
  • Solvent immersion – the process of immersing the object in the solvent for cleaning
  • Solvent spray – a spray aerosol that disperses the solvent onto the surface of an object to clean
  • Ultrasonic solvent cleaning – the process of using ultrasonic energy to remove contaminants from the surface of an object submerged in a solvent

In most cases, it is preferred that the cleaning agent leaves no residue when being used for electronics cleaning. This is because residue tends to attract dirt and grime, which

Solvent degreasing (cleaning) is the physical process of using solvents to remove contaminants (grease, carbon deposits, oils, waxes, fluxes or tars) from various metal, glass or plastic items. This procedure becomes necessary in the manufacturing process, as many materials and parts must be cleaned efficiently in order to move on to further manufacturing processes or directly to the consumer. This helps businesses ensure cleanliness, quality, and prevents many disruptions The selection of a solvent is largely dependent on what is being cleaned, what contaminants are being removed, and what tolerances are acceptable. Degreasing equipment can range in size from bench-top to much larger units.

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