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Starna Scientific has reported important production benefits following its adoption of Enviro Tech Europe’s Ensolv, a cleaning solvent that is formulated for critical component cleaning tasks.

The solvent is used in a fully sealed MEG machine from Italy, supplied by Core-Chem, the main UK distributor of Ensolv.

Starna Scientific uses Ensolv to effectively remove wax-based products or ‘blocking wax’, which is employed for holding glass and quartz optical components onto production tooling, and to thoroughly clean the parts prior to subsequent assembly or coating processes.

According to the company, adoption has reduced cleaning times and minimised failure rates.

Starna previously used trichlorethylene (trike or TRI) in an old open-top tank for this cleaning operation but, with the reclassification of this product as a known carcinogen and the advent of the European Chlorinated Solvent Association ‘voluntary agreement’ banning the use of trike in open-top tanks, the company sought an alternative.

Trike also had a number of drawbacks, particularly high solvent consumption and the possibility of a significant failure rate because of the high solvent to ambient temperature differential – the situation therefore presented an opportunity to revisit the effectiveness of the cleaning operation and improve its efficiency.

A number of alternatives were investigated – including aqueous cleaning, HFCs, HFEs, perchlorethylene and methylene chloride.

However, following in-depth cleaning trials carried out by Core-Chem at its Slough demonstration facility and at MEG’s manufacturing facility in Italy, the Ensolv/MEG combination proved to offer the most benefits.

Ensolv provides the same solvency power as trichloroethylene and operates at a lower temperature (69C), which is high enough to break down the heavy wax while also avoiding the danger of thermal shock and cracking of the delicate components.

Solvents operating at a higher temperature can cause damage to the parts, while those working at a lower temperature are not effective at removing the wax.

The introduction of the MEG automated fully sealed cleaning machine has also resulted in other benefits – in particular, protecting operators from possible solvent emissions.

In addition, because the machine is programmable, it has enabled Starna to select one of 10 process programs dedicated to each type of optical component, ensuring complete control over quality, monitoring and analysis of the cleaning cycle without manual supervision.

Various cleaning options are now available, including vapour degreasing, agitation and ultrasonics.

In many instances, cleaning cycle times have been reduced from more than 30 minutes to just a few minutes.

Keith Hulme, director of Starna Scientific, said there have been no major problems with the installation and commissioning of the MEG system by Core-Chem personnel.

In situ operator training was provided by Core-Chem and, in just a few weeks, the machine proved its worth, with as little as four litres of solvent used each week and the need for clean-outs – due to the high volumes of wax being used – has been cut from every four weeks before to every four months now.

This is in addition to improvements in cleaning quality and the savings in time.

Specially formulated for cleaning precision parts, Ensolv has been specially formulated for the cleaning of precision parts in the electronics and aerospace fields, for example, as well as for optical components.

It has a high solvency power and has the ability to break down not only waxes, as at Starna Scientific, but also heavy oils, greases, lapping pastes, buffing compounds and many other surface contaminants.

It can be employed as a drop-in replacement for trichloroethylene and is a highly effective vapour degreaser, especially when used in conjunction with ultrasonic agitation.

It is non-flammable and non-carcinogenic, and it is particularly suitable for cleaning long-drawn pipe work, such as oxygen and fuel lines.

In addition to MEG equipment, Ensolv can be used in most types of solvent cleaning and vapour degreasing machines.

Envirotech Europe

EnviroTech Surface Technologies supply a complete range of metal cleaning, surface treatment and protection systems which are cost effective, energy efficient and safe for users and the environment. Products are supplied through a qualified network of distributors throughout the UK and Europe.

The Best In Surface Treatment

EnviroTech Surface Technologies supply a complete range of metal cleaning, surface treatment and protection systems which are cost effective, energy efficient and safe for users and the environment. Products are supplied through a qualified network of distributors throughout the UK and Europe

Products and Services
Ensolv – Vapour Degreasing Solvents For Precision Cleaning
Environmentally friendly precision vapour degreasing and cleaning solvents for the aerospace, precision engineering, medical, optical and electronic industries.

EnSolv vapour degreasing solvents are the most effective alternative to trichloroethylene which is due to be phased out of use in Europe during 2016. Fast economical cleaning and degreasing in one tank using minimal floor area.

Aquus – Water Based Metal Cleaning And Pretreatment Processes
A range of innovative and sustainable water based metal cleaning and surface treatment products which prepare parts and fabrications for painting, powder coating or electroplating.

Phosphating systems are available to meet the needs of all manufacturers from office furniture to household appliances and for other more demanding applications in transport, aerospace, construction, oil and marine industries.

CORR-EX – Corrosion Protection Solutions
Specialist barrier film corrosion protection products, based on synthetic materials to provide safe, effective, environmentally friendly solutions to lubrication and corrosion problems.

Our solutions help to lubricate and control corrosion, and are unexcelled in preventing deterioration and contamination. Solutions for derusting, passivation, sealing and anti-corrosion packaging are also included in our product range.

Clarea – Industrial Degreasing Solvents
Environmentally safe wipe, brush, dip and immersion cleaning solvents for removing dirt, oil, grease and other contaminants from surfaces without causing harm or leaving residue.

A growing concern regarding environmental issues and health hazards of the most commonly used chlorinated solvents as degreasing agents has led to the formulation of this range of safer industrial cleaning solvents.

  • Our products and treatments offer a combination of benefits:
  • Cost effective solutions for all your metal cleaning and surface treatments needs
  • Processes are safe, environmentally friendly and energy efficient
  • Excellent customer service, technical support and training from qualified distributors throughout Europe

ProSolv – lower cost high performance fluorocarbon cleaning solvent

ProSolv – enables high performance cleaning at lower cost than other fluorinated solvent cleaners.A proprietary tertiary azeotropic formulation based on a fluorinated solvent which can be a direct replacement for chlorinated solvents ProSolv is extremely stable and simple to use meeting all the increasingly stringent legislative demands for safer, non flammable solvents with low environmental impact for the precision engineering and electronics industries

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