Surface World April 2019 Surface World April 2019 - Page 10

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT Next generation cleaning technologies are out of this world Graham Fraser, MD of Fraser Technologies, discusses the next generation of cleaning technologies and how they’re revolutionising environmental impact Along with low GWP, solvents also offer speed and efficiency, which shorten lead times and reduce costs. There are lower capital equipment costs than with comparable water-based systems, so there is a low cost of ownership and a smaller equipment footprint. Plus, they are extremely easy and safe to use. These benefits combined with extremely high precision cleaning, make solvents a very attractive option for many businesses. To the Moon and Back One of our most popular products is Opteon™ SF79; a non- flammable, fast drying cleaning solvent from Chemours™, which is designed to clean a wide range of soils from mechanical components, electronics, optics, military hardware, etc. both in existing solvent cleaning systems, and cold cleaning applications. It is ideally suited for vapour degreasing, precision cleaning and removal of greases and oils. When considering how to clean or degrease products or components, businesses will find they are faced with a choice between water-based aqueous cleaning and using solvents. While many people have an instant reaction to steer clear of solvents due to their controversial history, there is an impressive new wave of cleaning technologies that should not be ignored. It was designed to be safe for the operators and for the environment, and replaces many of the high cost HFE materials as well as nPB, HFC-365 blends and other hazardous chlorinated solvents, such as Trike, Methylene Chloride and Perk. It is also a safe, viable alternative to fast evaporating flammable materials such as IPA, Acetone, Thinners and MEK, typically used in hand cleaning applications. There’s no denying that in the past, many solvents were detrimental to health and the environment, and the majority of people probably believe that this is still the case. However, the solvents of the 80s and 90s have been left in the past, and the current generation of chemicals are just as safe as the aqueous solutions people have become accustomed to. SF79 is usually used as a replacement for either hazardous or high-cost cleaning solvents for the removal of oils, flux, liquors, paint, machining or sanding particulate. It has a very high wetting index (low surface tension, viscosity and density) and can remove particulate down to submicron levels without leaving residues. While there are instances where aqueous cleaning provides the best results, many applications are best suited to solvent cleaning. Plus, as solvents can be considered a ‘dry’ cleaning option, this process is ideal for water-sensitive or difficult to dry components. With the introduction of solvents such as the Opteon™ range from Chemours™, solvent cleaning has once again become a viable, safe and cost-effective option, and it is fast becoming a favoured choice. It is a simple process that can be very effective and easy to manage. With the use of low boiling point, non-flammable products, components can be cleaned to an exceptionally high standard with minimal cost and capital investment. These cleaning solvents use eco-friendly chemistries, which offer a superior cleaning performance. They are low in cost and provide a genuine alternative to the old hazardous solvents which have now been banned or restricted. The Chemours™ range of safe, environmentally friendly solvents have become widely accepted as best in class, next generation fluids and are approved for use in a large range of standard cleaning systems. Solvents can now boast low global warming potential (GWP). GWP is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, generally attributed to the greenhouse effect, caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants. GWP is used to represent the equivalent of Co2 being released into the atmosphere. So 1kg of CO2 = a GWP of 1. 8 APRIL 2019 Chemours™ has recently launched a re-modified version of SF79, helpfully named SF80, which offers all of the benefits of SF79, but with an even lower GWP. While SF79 has an impressive GWP of less than 15, SF80 has a GWP of less than 2. On average, competitors’ products have a GWP of around 40, and until now, SF79 was the lowest GWP of any fluorinated solvent on the market by a significant margin. SF80 offers real standout for businesses looking to improve their environmental credentials. The impact of this change is remarkable, and can be demonstrated by a project we have undertaken with one of our customers, which asked us to look at an alternative to the high-GWP solvent they were using. At the time, the customer – a prominent aerospace manufacturer - was using 7 Metric Tonnes of product per year. We worked with them to approve SF79 and subsequently SF80 and once on site, we assisted in optimising their processes to reduce solvent consumption. We also introduced a solvent recovery process to allow them to further reduce waste and reuse the recovered solvent. This has taken the customer’s overall usage of solvent down by 28%. While the existing product was less expensive than SF79, the reduction in solvent usage has shown a significant cost reduction of around £30,000 per year as well as a significant reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions. With a GWP of 990, the CO2 emissions created by the customer when using the alternative product were equal to the emissions of twitter: @surfaceworldmag