Aqueous degreasing equipment and ultrasonic cleaning equipment specialist, Technowash explains how its new Aero-Tech cleaning product helps to future-proof aerospace degreasing and cleaning.
Due to the impending demise of Trichloroethylene and other harmful chlorinated solvents, Technowash, working in partnership with a UK-based aerospace company, has collaborated in the development of a coordinated process which combines the supply of wash plant with a new cleaning product called Aero-Tech.
Over the preceding 15 years, Technowash has designed and manufactured high performance equipment for the majority of companies and subcontractors within the aerospace sector. Single-stage, multi-stage, ultrasonic and pre-NDT lines are within the company’s product range.
Technowash claims that by carefully listening to its customers’ comments and observations at both the request for quotation (RFQ) stage and post-delivery commissioning there appeared to be a shortage of ‘joined up’ processes. The situation wasn’t helped by the myriad of approved formulations which hadn’t changed for decades. This was the company’s motivation to begin formulation R&D work, resulting in the low foam version, which passed all testing required by two leading Aerospace manufacturers. The immersion variant, which doesn’t require low-foam surfactants, is now undergoing similarly exacting testing.
It would appear that the opportunities now created for both project and process engineering departments, to enjoy certainty of quality standards (where critical results are required) can be exploited, through the ability to collaborate, within single organisations and at technical levels outside them.
Aero-Tech is a modern, liquid formulation, specifically designed and approved for use in the aerospace manufacturing/assembly and component supply industries. It is also targeted at exacting single substrate and multi-metal cleaning specifications. Composites, ceramics and painted surfaces can be cleaned to high standards without risk of surface deterioration.
Aero-Tech is very versatile and may be used in spray wash machines, immersion/agitation tanks and ultrasonic baths, and with typical working concentrations from 1%- 4% which operate efficiently at 50°C in ultrasonic baths and up to 70°C in spray applications. Existing cycle times are typically reduced; all these factors combine to create an extremely economical product in use. Contact times are always variable according to type, loading and age of the contaminants. Aero-Tech is also an effective solution for contaminants of mineral oils, light greases, polishing compounds, drawing and forming lubricants and corrosion preventives, including lanolin.
In the product development stage, much attention was given to environmental issues along with the health and safety profiles of the product. Consequently the product has avoided the use of boron compounds, amines and phosphates. The majority of the ingredients are obtained from renewable sources and these combine to produce a mildly alkaline, user-friendly product, which complies with COSHH and REACH regulations. The relatively mild pH also favours the disposal process and reduces associated costs.
“In our opinion, Aero-Tech literally does reach the parts other aerospace cleaning products cannot reach and at concentration levels that make a real and measureable improvement in operating costs” states Technowash Sales Director, Steven Price “Used in combination with our wash plants, Aero-Tech delivers complete confidence, product safety and reliability every time. Our aspiration as a supplier of cleaning processes is to ensure that the outcome for project managers is a realistic and achievable result. Our vowed intention is to take our current approvals to work with new potential users, to help develop wider application opportunites.”