Solvent degreasers are used in industrial cleaning to remove oils, greases, and other contaminants from metal and other surfaces. There are three main types of solvent degreasers: chlorinated, petroleum-based, and aromatic. Each type has its own pros and cons, and it is important to choose the right type for the job to ensure the best results and the highest level of safety.
Types of Solvent Degreasers
Chlorinated Solvent Degreasers
Chlorinated solvents, such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), have been used in industrial cleaning for many years. These solvents are effective at dissolving oils and other contaminants, making them a popular choice for cleaning parts and machinery. However, chlorinated solvents have several drawbacks. They are known to be carcinogenic and can cause serious health problems, including liver and kidney damage, neurological problems, and reproductive issues. They are also known to be hazardous to the environment and can contribute to air pollution and the depletion of the ozone layer.
Petroleum-Based Solvent Degreasers
Petroleum-based solvents, such as mineral spirits and kerosene, are another common type of solvent degreaser. These solvents are effective at dissolving oils and other contaminants and are generally less expensive than chlorinated solvents. However, petroleum-based solvents are also flammable and can be hazardous to workers if not handled properly. They also have a strong odor and can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems if inhaled.
Aromatic Solvent Degreasers
Aromatic solvents, such as toluene and xylene, are a third type of solvent degreaser. These solvents are effective at dissolving oils and other contaminants and are generally less hazardous to human health than chlorinated and petroleum-based solvents. However, they are still flammable and can be hazardous if not handled properly. They also have a strong odor and can cause skin and respiratory irritation.
Choosing the Right Solvent Degreaser
The best type of solvent degreaser to use for a particular application will depend on a number of factors, including the type of contaminant being removed, the surface being cleaned, and the cost and availability of the solvent.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a solvent degreaser:
- The type of contaminant being removed: Some solvents are better at removing certain types of contaminants than others. For example, chlorinated solvents are very effective at removing grease and oil, while petroleum solvents are better at removing paint and rust.
- The surface being cleaned: Some solvents can damage certain types of surfaces. For example, chlorinated solvents can damage aluminum and magnesium surfaces. It is important to choose a solvent that is safe to use on the surface being cleaned.
- The cost and availability of the solvent: Solvent degreasers can vary in price, so it is important to choose one that fits within your budget. Some solvents may also be more difficult to find than others.
Finally, it is important to choose a solvent degreaser that is compatible with the equipment and surfaces being cleaned. Some solvents can damage certain types of metal or plastics, so it is important to check the manufacturer’s specifications before choosing a solvent degreaser.
When using solvent degreasers, it is important to take safety precautions to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the solvents. These precautions include:
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator.
- Work in a well-ventilated area.
- Do not breathe the vapors.
- Avoid skin contact.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while using solvent degreasers.
- Dispose of solvent degreasers properly.
How Twin Specialties Can Help
Solvent degreasers are a powerful tool that can be used to remove a variety of contaminants from metal surfaces. However, it is important to choose the right type of solvent degreaser for the application and to take safety precautions when using solvent degreasers. As a leading supplier of industrial chemicals and solvents, Twin Specialties can assist manufacturers with sourcing the appropriate solvent degreasers and cleaners for their needs. Our team of experts can help you choose the right solvent degreaser for your application while provide top-notch customer service and competitive pricing.