As the manufacturing world heads toward Nano Technology the importance of producing a clean part for even the most commonplace item is rapidly becoming a requirement. Many process engineers and quality managers who have never had to be concerned with part cleanliness suddenly have to come up to speed on topics such as Precision Cleaning utilizing Ultrasonic Cleaning and verification by Cleanliness Testing.
The time and costs to learn these disciplines and get up and running can be significant. The capital costs to implement Ultrasonic Cleaning and the associated waste streams are considerable. There are innumerable environmental laws covering the treatment, disposal and reporting of wastes. Costs to staff and train personnel are ongoing to ensure that the operation runs properly.
PTI's Precision Cleaning division has a wide range of equipment and the expertise to achieve the results you need far more efficiently. We have seven Precision Cleaning methods available: Ultrasonic Cleaning, Turbulent Flushing with square wave pumps, Citric Passivation, Aqueous Immersion with alkaline or acid chemistries, Vapor Degreasing, CO2 SnoGun, and Mechanical Blasting. Much of this equipment is housed in Class 1000 clean rooms. We will work with you to determine the best method available to achieve the part cleanliness your application requires at the most economical price.
Precision cleaning is just part of the process. To assure compliance, Cleanliness Testing for Solid Particles and Non Volatile Residue must be just as precise. Cleanliness Testing methods available include, PC based Optical Particle counter, PC based Microscopes, PC based Micro Balances, Black Light, High Intensity UV Light, Articulated Boroscopes & Water Conductivity.
PTI provides certified Cleanliness Testing to a number of critical specs to verify that parts will, in fact, meet the cleanliness standards our customers demand.
Ultrasonic Cleaning is acheived using transducers in or attached to the bottom of a tank to emit and radiate sound waves through the cleaning solution. These sound waves cause millions of microscopic bubbles to form and grow, this process is called CAVITATION. These Ultrasonic Cleaning bubbles then collapse or “implode” releasing enormous amounts of energy. These implosions work in all directions to Ultrasonically Clean and remove contamination from the work piece.
In Aqueous Immersion Cleaning, parts are placed in baskets or suspended by straps in a heated aqueous solution that is agitated by compressed air and pumps. Aqueous Immersion cleaning is the preferred method for parts that require a long soak time or if the parts are too large for ultrasonic tanks. At PTI we have tanks up to 76" x 42" and 36" deep to perform Aqueous Immersion.
The CO2 SnoGun cleaning process is based on the expansion of gaseous carbon dioxide through an orifice. This expansion leads to the creation of small dry ice particles propelled by a high velocity gas stream that is sprayed onto the parts by the CO2 SnoGun. Upon impact with a dirty surface the dry ice media removes the unwanted particles. When using the CO2 SnoGun, even submicron particulates and hydrocarbons are removed by this transient solvent or freeze fracture mechanism.
Turbulent Flushing is ideal for parts that require cleaning of cored passages and galleries. During Turbulent Flushing, parts are connected by hoses to a re-circulating pumping system. This pumping system is capable of square wave pulsing and is coupled to a filtered solvent tank. The cleaning action of the flowing solvent can be enhanced by securing the part to a mechanical shaker table to ensure optimal cleanliness during the Turbulent Flushing process.
During Vapor Degreasing, a heat source raises the liquid solvent in a tank to its boiling point. When the solvent boils, it produces hot, heavy vapors that rise to an established vapor line. At this point, the vapors are condensed on cold condenser coils and the vapors do not rise any higher. The solvent vapors are heavier than air, therefore they push the air above the vapor line. To Vapor Degrease, parts at ambient temperature are introduced into the solvent vapor and the solvent vapor condenses on the part’s surface. The liquid solvent produced as a result of this condensation dissolves the greases and oils on the part and flushes them away. Vapor Degreasing is an ideal degreasing method for metal parts.
During High Pressure Spray Washing, filtered aqueous cleaning solutions are sprayed at high pressure (500-2000 psi) inside a Class 1000 cabinet. Our High Pressure Spray Washing cabinets are outfitted with turntables that enable the operator to manipulate the part to reach all surfaces. This type of part cleaning is ideal for components that are too large for Ultrasonic tanks. High pressure Spray Washing is the most effective part cleaning process for parts that have deep, small diameter holes.
Media Blasting is the acceleration of particles by air, performed in a blast cabinet, to achieve a variety of physical effects on a part's surface. Media blasting is considered a “gross cleaning method” and is used to remove heavy scales and oxides. Surface effects are determined by media type, size, speed, and direction of impact. Blast medias readily available for Media Blasting include: aluminum oxide, glass bead, garnet, plastic and walnut shell. The visual appearance of a blasted surface tends to be a dull to bright satin-matte finish.
In addition to our well-established precision cleaning and cleanliness testing services in class 1000 clean rooms, PTI now offers assembly service in the same class 1000 environment.
If you already have parts here for precision cleaning you no longer need to run the risk of having your parts exposed to re-contamination during shipping, storage or mis-handling before they reach your clean room for assembly, let us do the assembly and they will never leave a class 1000 environment.
We are capable of assembling components with conventional fasteners using calibrated torque wrenches and arbor presses. We also have very extensive adhesive bonding capabilities.