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Aqueous Cleaning Methods


POWER CLEAN Industrial Cleaner / Degreaser is designed to remove dirt and oil. This product has a strong affinity for oil and contaminates and loosens them from the parts. Most oil floats to the surface where they can easily be removed via skimming wheels/ belt, absorption blankets, or vacuuming. Turning off agitation allows solid particulates and metal fines to settle on the bottom where they can be filtered off as sludge via a recycling filtration system.

Heat and adequate agitation are the most important factors when using POWER CLEAN's unique formulation to clean efficiently. As a rule of thumb, we recommend the entire tank volume should be recirculated once per minute. Both heat and agitation can be produced by the following methods:
heat & agitation

For both safety and performance, POWER CLEAN Industrial Cleaner/Degreaser is a significant improvement over the caustic powders and solutions commonly used in spray degreasing equipment. At a dilution of 3% (1:30) with water, heated to appx 145°F or 60°C, POWER CLEAN effectively removes contaminating oils. Because of POWER CLEAN's unique abilities, spray nozzles stay clean from contaminate buildup. Since no rinsing is required, an economical single-stage washing system is practical.
wash tank

POWER CLEAN, in a 5% solution will remove oils, dirts and fine metal particulates agitated by ultrasonic systems. POWER CLEAN, at a 5% solution combined with the implosion influence of ultrasonics will have remarkable cleaning qualities with regard to small holes, long tubes, and delicate pieces. POWER CLEAN is safe for all substrates - does not damage anodizing or alter the topography of the substrate.

wash tank
A 5% solution of POWER CLEAN heated to 145 F replaces all hazardous caustics and acids in submersion washing systems. Parts washed in POWER CLEAN and thoroughly dried are protected from rust for approximately 7 to 15 days. These parts can then be coated or bonded with no further treatment. POWER CLEAN Industrial Cleaner/ Degreaser can also replace chlorinated hydrocarbons and other chemicals in vapor degreasing tanks. Those very same vapor tanks can be converted to an POWER CLEAN submersion systems in a very short time and little expense. We recommend the conversion for improving agitation so as to insure cleaning effectiveness.

Agitated Immersion Tank
Immersion process is the submergence of parts into the cleaning solution. Turbulation of the solution during the wash cycle dramatically increases cleaning efficiency and can be achieved with the use of mechanical pumps and or jetting action. POWER CLEAN at a 5% concentration heat up to 160 F will suspend and disperse soils and prevent them from redepositng onto the cleaned surface. Corrosion inhibitors and wetting agents help sheet off water deposits and protect metal surfaces washed with POWER CLEAN. Manufacturers still using vapor tanks can utilize older equipment by alterating their existing tanks and adding mechanical action with recirculated pumps at low capital expense

POWER CLEAN Industrial Cleaner/Degreaser offers a safe and simple way to clean all metal parts without fear of high residues or impact to the environment in field applications. With proper agitation, pipe sections can be flushed clean with a 3% to 5% solution. The temperatures can range from ambient to 145° F. In addition, smaller hoses and parts can be submerged or sprayed in systems previously described.

POWER CLEAN Industrial Cleaner/ Degreaser leaves a minimum of non-volatile residue for corrosion protection. In most cases this inhibitor does not have to be removed prior to subsequent metal finishing operations. After parts become completely dry, they are protected from rust for approximately 7 to 15 days. These parts can then be coated or bonded with no further treatment.


While oil and grease are readily "lifted" from parts by POWER CLEAN Industrial Cleaner / Degreaser, the cleaning quality can deteriorate rapidly if contaminants remain in the washer tank. In addition, large volumes of waste are created if these cleaners are not recycled, resulting in considerable disposal costs. Systems available to remove suspended oils and extend bath life include: Decanting, Membranes, and Micro Filtration Units.


POWER CLEAN Industrial Cleaner/Degreaser can be disposed of quickly and inexpensively. After removing excess metal fines and tramp oils, the saturated solution can be disposed of through your sanitary sewer system when local pH ordinances are observed. Unlike harsher chemicals, POWER CLEAN reduces the potential for regulatory penalties imposed by EPA and OSHA.

ALKALINE SOAK CLEAN (Immersion Soak Clean)

The most widely used form of cleaning prior to electroplating is immersion or alkaline soak cleaning. Soils removed by this process include oil, grease, waxy solids, metallic particles, dust, carbon particles and silica. An alkaline cleaner removes contaminants by emulsification, dispersion, saponification, or combinations of these mechanisms. The cleaning process is usually augmented by some form of agitation such as work movement and/or solution movement. Alternate methods of agitation and cleaning, such as ultrasonic's and spray cleaning, are discussed by Spring (1974).


We use a wide range of formulation and operation conditions for alkaline soak cleaners which may be encountered. The specific formulation and conditions are almost always unique to each installation, but the basic components remain the same. The composition, concentration and temperature of the cleaning solution depend on the substrate to be cleaned and the amount and type of soils to be removed. The compounds themselves will usually be a commercial or proprietary product. The supplier should be able to provide specific details required for use. It should be noted that in some areas, phosphates and chelating compounds cannot be used due to local effluent discharge regulations. Special proprietary compounds must be used in these areas.

The performance capability and longevity of a cleaning bath are essentially dependent on four factors:
  1. The amount and type of soils introduced to the bath.
  2. The drag-out rate.
  3. Maintenance procedures and frequency.
  4. Concentration, chemical makeup and operating conditions.

The first two factors can be highly variable, depending on factors such as prior process chemistry, part size, part geometry and production rate. These factors, in turn, determine the third. Graham (1971) and Spring (1974) describe a number of test procedures to determine cleanliness, including the widely used "water break test" in which the surface of the metal is examined. The test is based on the ability of a supposedly clean metal surface to sustain an unbroken film of water. However, as noted by Geduld (1988), the best and most commonly used method for determining cleaner life is to operate until problems arise, dump the cleaner, then devise a dump schedule in advance of projected problems. Knowledge and control of soil type and drag-out rate, to the degree possible, will extend the solution service cycle and permit more efficient maintenance schedules. Unit cost for a cleaner can be determined by careful collection and analysis of daily operating data such as throughput, amount and type of chemical additions, type and frequency of waste treatment costs and dump frequency. Pollution prevention techniques that are effective in reducing process solution drag-out tend to increase the concentration of contaminants. Alkaline cleaners, unlike plating baths, are designed to remove contaminants from the workpiece and retain them in the cleaning bath. Recovery of process solution or a reduction in drag-out may actually increase the need for removal of contaminants through more frequent maintenance by decantation, filtration or other purification process. It is generally more desirable, however, to contain contaminants in the cleaning bath than allow them to be carried to process solutions further down the line. Each application should be carefully examined. Cushnie (1994) discusses chemical solution maintenance in more detail.


The above discussion has been generally directed to the cleaning of low carbon steel. When other substrates are to be prepared for plating, the exact solutions, conditions and operations required should be thoroughly researched and tested prior to production. Often, the same cleaners and methods can be employed for other common substrates. It is essential to recognize the specific differences imposed by the material being cleaned, make any necessary adjustments and implement the extra steps required. Typical adjustments include reducing cleaning process time, lowering temperature or adding a desmutting step in an existing bath. In some cases moderate process changes may be required. Such changes may include the use of an alternate pickle acid formula, addition of a special activation or etching step, or the use of a strike bath. Some metals, such as aluminum, require a substantially different cleaning cycle. In general, the same alkaline soak cleaners and operating conditions used for low carbon steel can be used for high carbon steels, cast iron, high strength alloy steels, stainless steels, nickel, nickel alloys, copper and copper alloys. Zinc and zinc alloy based die castings can sometimes be cleaned, but some adjustments (lowered temperatures and short immersion times) must be made to avoid etching. Etching of heavily soiled parts may occur when the workpiece remains in contact with the cleaning solution for an extended period of time. If etching occurs, either a pre-cleaning step prior to alkaline soak cleaning must be added or special purpose soak cleaners containing little or no sodium hydroxide must be used in the soak cleaning bath. Such situations require specific methods of preparation and additional information must be obtained.

Final Considerations

Aqueous cleaning with POWER CLEAN offers an effective cleaning alternative for most parts but does have its disadvantages. With the use of water, it is important that sufficient measures are taken to prevent corrosion or scaling on parts. This can be accomplished by using deionized process water, incorporating the use of thorough drying stages, and applying appropriate rust and corrosion inhibitors. POWER CLEAN's exceptional chemistry has low residue and is free-rinsing, permitting complete insolubility without re-deposition of soil. Yet as with all metal parts particularly high carbon type steels - parts must be coated with some form of protectant after all contaminants are removed. POWER CLEAN has mild rust-inhibitors will protect parts for a small duration of time.

WASTE REDUCTION - Oil may be separated from cold, nonagitated tanks by skimming. If necessary, mechanical filtration for particulates may be employed to recycle cleaning solution in a closed system. Because POWER CLEAN has been proven readily biodegradable in waste water treatment plants and in natural waters upon dilution in accordance with strict U.S.A. standards, the spent solution can be handled through local sanitary systems. However, if particulate materials ( such as chips, fines, and some organic chemicals ) are present within the wash bath, it is necessary for the solution to be processed as hazardous waste and will have to be managed as such.

Any questions please email us at : info@roovel.com or visit : WWW.POWERCLEAN.IN

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Roovel Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
P11, 1st Floor, ITI Industrial Estate,
Mahadevapura Post, Bangalore 560 048. Karnataka