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Army-Influenced Cleaning Guide
Is Time-Saving Tool

Stymied by a barrage of cleaners for your industrial operations? In an effort to eliminate hazardous materials and processes, tighter environmental controls have caused a switch from solvent-based to water- based or new solvent cleaners, creating compatibility issues. Without a reference guide, expensive trial and error often determines a cleaner’s level of effectiveness.

Pinpointing key steps that evaluate potential cleaning agents for specific tasks, Standard D 6361, Guide for Selecting Cleaning Agents and Processes, is available from ASTM. It allows the industrial or manufacturing engineer to customize selection of cleaning agents and processes based on the part’s material, size, shape, and reason to be cleaned. When selected, appropriate tests are then suggested for the cleaner’s physical and chemical properties, material compatibility, and applicable processes.

“The engineer ultimately makes the final decision on the cleaner based on the results of the evaluations and on individual areas of concern including cost, and environmental, safety, and health issues,” says Kevin McGill, consultant to the Army on pollution prevention and corrosion engineering, chairman of the ASTM subcommittee, and president, Prospective Technology, Inc., Columbia, Md.

The standard originated as a U.S. Army Acquisition Pollution Prevention Support Office protocol and was further developed into a guide through ASTM Subcommittee D26.03 on Cold Cleaning, part of Committee D26 on Halogenated Organic Solvents and Fire Extinguishing Agents.

“We decided that every cleaning application had different requirements” says McGill. “Anyone that needs to select a cleaner can examine their reason for cleaning, the material of the part being cleaned, and choose the appropriate evaluation criteria in the guide. They are not going to run into problems of not having sufficient cleanliness of their parts and are not going run into material compatibility issues.”

The subcommittee that developed the guide includes Department of Defense users familiar with EPA and OSHA requirements, such as the environmental office at Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas, that used this methodology extensively for several years. Representing industry were users and manufacturers of cleaning agents.

“We need to get this message to users outside the Army community,” adds McGill. “It is very good guidance for anyone selecting and making cleaning agent changes.”

ASTM standards are available by calling Customer Service (610/832-9585) or through the Web site.

For further technical information, contact Kevin McGill, Prospective Technology, Inc., 7413 Swan Point Way, Columbia, MD 21045-5055 (410/381-5375). ASTM Committee D26 meets June 21-22 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For meeting or membership information, contact Staff Manager John Pallante, ASTM (610/832-9737). //

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