Solvent Ultrasonic Cleaning Helps Porvair Filtration Meet Customer Specs

SOL XP at Porvair Filtration

An explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaning system satisfies customers’ preferences for flammable solvents employed during initial cleaning processes for new and reconditioned stainless-steel filters, reports Jeff Bernier, Quality Manager at Porvair Filtration Group in Caribou, ME.

“Solvent ultrasonic cleaning falls into our passivation cycle as a means of improving the corrosion resistance of our 316L stainless steel filters by removing ferrous contaminants like free iron from surfaces, and restoring them to their original corrosion specifications,” Mr. Bernier explains, adding “many of our chromatography customers expect it.”

Solvent Ultrasonic Cleaning Replaces Aqueous Solutions

“Our explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaner allows us to safely use flammable solvents versus previously employed non-flammable aqueous solutions for initial cleaning,” Mr. Bernier says. 

“Grade A isopropanol alcohol and pharmaceutical grade acetone are the preferred solvents.  However, they require specially designed ultrasonic cleaners as well as compliance with strict safety standards.

“These include the National Electric

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The Ultimate Resource for Ultrasonic Cleaning with Flammable Solvents

How Can I Use Flammable Solvents in an Ultrasonic Cleaner?

Examples of a widely used flammable solvents are IPA (Isopropyl alcohol), Acetone, and IMS (Industrial Methylated Spirits). Any time flammable solvents are used for cleaning purposes there is risk of fire or explosion due to ignition of volatile vapors by a flash source. Ignition can occur from any source due to spills or as flammable solvent vapors spread. This guide will explain how you can safely use flammable solvents in an ultrasonic cleaner.

You may not have to use a flammable solvent as your cleaning solution. Watch the video below for details on selection a cleaning solution for your ultrasonic cleaner.

Cleaning with flammable solvents requires extreme caution in any case but ultrasonic cleaning with … Read the rest

Ultrasonic Cleaning with Flammable Solvents

ultrasonic cleaning using flammable solvent

Cleaning with flammable solvents requires extreme caution in any case but ultrasonic cleaning with flammable solvents requires specially designed equipment and procedures.  That’s because of the real danger of a fire or explosion if spilled solvent or vapors are ignited by sparks from internal electronics or external sources.  This post describes equipment to use and precautions to observe for ultrasonic cleaning with low flash point flammable solvents. 

But first, some explanations and relevant regulations.

What is a Flash Point?

Flammable solvents have different flashpoints. In brief, the lower the flashpoint the more flammable they are.  This is important when cleaning with flammable solvents.

Fortunately there is help.

The American Chemical Society publishes a table of common organic solvents that includes flash points.  Examples of low flash point volatile solvents are 1-propanol at 59⁰F (15⁰C), acetone at -4⁰F (-20⁰C)  and toluene at 39⁰F (4⁰C). 

Cleaning with Flammable Solvent Regulations

As a … Read the rest

How to Safely Use Acetone Cleaner in an Ultrasonic Bath

PubChem, an open chemistry database at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), defines acetone as a colorless, volatile, flammable organic solvent.  It is also called dimethyl ketone, 2-propanone, and beta-ketopropane.  As a low flash point solvent, acetone cleaner is widely used in manufacturing as a highly effective degreaser for residue-free removal of contaminants in an ultrasonic bath. 

Key cautions or “red alerts” for using an acetone cleaner include low flash point, volatility and flammability. This is why special precautions are required to safely use acetone cleaner in an ultrasonic bath to avoid potential fire and an explosion.  Here we describe equipment and procedures to follow when using acetone cleaner in an ultrasonic bath.… Read the rest

How to Select an Explosion Proof Ultrasonic Cleaner

How to Select an Explosion Proof Ultrasonic Cleaner

Ultrasonic cleaning with volatile (flammable) solvents creates what the NEC and NFPA term a hazardous location.  Conformance requires that you follow strict procedures including selecting an explosion proof ultrasonic cleaner or taking special precautions when using low flash point volatile solvents for cleaning. This post describes volatile solvents, where they are used in ultrasonic cleaning operations and how to comply with regulations including explosion-proof ultrasonic cleaners. 

What is a Flash Point?

A flash point is the temperature at which a particular organic compound gives off sufficient vapor to ignite in air when given an ignition source.  Gasoline fumes are an example.  Although you can extinguish a match by dunking it in gasoline, such an exercise is not recommended because it is the gasoline fumes that ignite.  

In view of this, selection of an ultrasonic cleaner must take into account that not only do volatile solvents evaporate, but the heat … Read the rest

How to Safely Clean Surgical Implants with IPA

Strict guidelines apply to the cleanliness of surgical implants to assure there are no residual contaminants that can cause infection or other issues after patients are discharged. A very effective cleaning solvent for surgical implants is isopropyl alcohol (IPA). This is because it evaporates quickly, is relatively non-toxic and, importantly, dries residue free.

Ultrasonic cleaners are widely used for cleaning surgical implants after manufacturing because of their speed and effectiveness in removing contaminants.  But using IPA in an ultrasonic cleaner requires special precautions and equipment because IPA is a flammable liquid.

This post describes how to safely clean surgical implants with IPA.

We’ll cover:

  • A quick definition of flammable liquids
  • Special considerations to safely clean surgical implants
  • Defining a hazardous location
  • Equipment selection suggestions
  • Workplace precautions

Flammable Liquids Defined

Ultrasonic Cleaning with Flammable Liquids

Flammable liquids, also termed volatile solvents, are ranked by what is called their flash points. In brief, the lower the flashpoint … Read the rest

How to Safely Use Flammable Solutions in an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Using flammable solutions in an ultrasonic cleaner may be necessary if conventional biodegradable cleaning solution formulations are not up to the task.  But as the name indicates, flammable cleaning solutions give off vapors that are both unhealthy for personnel and may be explosive.   Vapor generation is greatly increased due to cavitation action in the ultrasonic cleaner tank.

Dealing with Flammable Solutions in an Ultrasonic Cleaner

There are two generally accepted procedures for using flammable solvents in an ultrasonic cleaning operation.   The simplest and least costly approach can be used to clean small parts in conventional benchtop ultrasonic cleaners available from Tovatech.  This approach, however, does not preclude careful handling of the solvents and using them in well-ventilated areas.

As a preparatory step fill the ultrasonic cleaner tank with water containing a surfactant to improve cavitation efficiency.  Activate the ultrasonic cleaner’s degas function to remove entrained air in the solution, otherwise … Read the rest