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Vapor degreasing is an essential part of the manufacturing process in wide areas of the metal working industry. All the metals of construction, for example, stainless steel, mild iron, aluminum, titanium, zinc, brass, copper, and die cast, can be safely cleaned with each of the three chlorinated solvents. The vapor degreasing process is simple; when hot solvent vapors contact a cooler object, the vapors condense on the cool object into liquid solvent which warms the object and dissolves the oils and soils. When the temperature of the metal object reaches that of the vapor, vapor condensation ceases and the metal part is removed clean and dry. In the past, the vapor degreasing process has normally used trichloroethylene as the solvent of choice. Recent environmental and worker safety regulations have started, however, to cause concern among the users of trichloroethylene. This paper reviews the Clean Air Act of 1970 and Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1971, and their probable impact on chlorinated solvent users.
cleaning, stainless steels, vapor degreasing, metal working
Archer, W. L.
Research specialist, Inorganic Chemicals, Metal Cleaning Solvents, Dow Chemical U. S. A., Midland, Mich.