Companies Cooperate to Optimize Precision Cleaning System
Two companies have joined forces to optimize a precision cleaning process. 3M Electronics (St. Paul; www.mmm.com) and Forward Technology (Minneapolis; www.forwardtech.com) have worked together to develop a cleaning system that uses 3M’s Novec 7200 engineered fluid. The fluid is clean air solvent certified by the South Coast Air Quality Management District of California. As a result of their work, Forward Technology has introduced the F-500 Series bisolvent cleaning system.
The F-500 system is an all-in-one, wash-rinse-dry model. It uses industrial-grade methyl soyate in addition to Novec 7200. The unit works with standard equipment and minimizes energy, floor space, and process time. The system removes oils, heavy waxes, grease, and particulates, leaving parts residue-free.
The process begins when parts are immersed in methyl soyate, which serves as the primary cleaning agent. The parts are then sonicated to remove the bulk of the contaminants. In the next step, they are rinsed in distilled Novec 7200 to yield clean and spot-free parts. Contaminants are automatically purged from the cleaning cycle, minimizing the cost of cleaning chemistry.
The system uses Novec 7200 in place of ozone-depleting materials. As a result, the F-500 series offers parts makers a way to comply with many strict air quality regulations. The fluid also has low global warming potential and is low in toxicity. It is compatible with a range of metals, plastics, and elastomers. With a higher boiling point than most CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs, the fluid can reduce evaporation in vapor degreasing applications.
“To meet the customer’s needs for a system that limits VOC emissions without compromising performance, 3M drew upon its broad technology base of segregated, nonflammable hydrofluoroethers,” says David Hesselroth, the company’s product development specialist. “Novec 7200 was an ideal fit for the cleaning system, because the fluid is based on a sustainable technology that balances environmental concerns with performance and safety.”