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Aqueous Vs Solvent Degreasing

Aqueous Vs Solvent Degreasing Image

Essential to industrial cleaning, degreasing is the process for cleaning parts & components. The variety of methods within the degreasing industry means the chemicals and machinery can greatly differ.

Having recently looked into two of the most popular techniques, vapour degreasing with solvents and aqueous cleaning using water-based detergents, we know each method has strengths and weaknesses.

If you are unsure of the processes, before proceeding to read this article, visit our previous articles Vapour Degreasing Made Simple & An Introduction to Aqueous Component Degreasing.

Aqueous Degreasing

Seen as the more accessible technique, there is no shortage of options for water-based degreasing as many aspects of the process are completely variable to achieve the best result possible.

These can include the machines themselves as they start from 2-3 tanks with a range of cleaning solutions to go with them. Multistage machines will rinse and agitate the components in water solutions to target the soil and contamination on the parts. The finished process leaves the components cleaned and ready for drying.

Vapour Degreasing

The solvent alternative to aqueous degreasing, vapour degreasing heats solvent solutions in an enclosed tank with the components located above it the solution. The chemical vapours dissolve the soil & contaminates off the components.

Followed by a final rinse in the solvent, parts then dry out by themselves as the solvent has a low boiling point causing it to evaporate.

Pros & Cons of Each Technique

Aqueous Degreasing

Aqueous cleaning is cheaper when investing in a cleaning line as the machines don’t need to be sealed or enclosed. With the cleaning solutions considered operator safe, less PPC is required to be worn.

The variety of cleaning solutions available from detergents to emulsifiers allows users to adapt their cleaning processes to remove specific contaminants such as salts. Although with multiple solutions, the operators need to be cautious of cross contamination as some solutions may react with others or transfer the soils.

Heating multiple tanks of water solution to high temperatures required by many solutions can consume a lot of energy. Although, the higher temperatures are not always compatible with all materials such as softer metals as it causes cavitation to the surface.

Cleaning the tanks is relatively easy as the solutions can just be washed away but the maintenance can be a bit trickier. The natural properties of water being corrosive against metals mean it is critical to look after the machines as the solutions can deteriorate the tanks themselves.

The cleaning process itself cleans the components to a high quality but they are still wet afterwards. Drying the parts may include having to buy additional machinery or add stages to the cleaning line, adding more time to the process. Despite these additional measures, water streaks are still common.

Solvent Degreasing

With a lower surface tension, the cleaning of vapour degreasing is highly praised. After a cleaning cycle, the components are dry and streak free as the solvent evaporates away. Along with the fast acting chemical reaction of the cleaning process, the process can take as little as 10 minutes.

Solvents are very effective against most contaminants from oils to dirt (especially on metals), making the process very reliable.

Despite its cleaning qualities, the history of solvent degreasing has not always been positive. In the 1980s carcinogenic and environmentally damaging properties of the solvents came to light, resulting in strict limitations and legislation. Modern solvents and machinery have mitigated these concerns so solvent cleaning is widely used.

The cost of solvent can be expensive but as the method is a closed-loop process, the recycled liquid can go a long way; but it does have to be professionally disposed of when replaced.

For a direct comparison, below is a chart displaying some key factors to consider when buying a degreasing line.

 

Aqueous

Solvent

Average Process Time

45-60 Minutes

10 Minutes

Standard Floorspace

2-3 Tanks & More

1-2 Tanks

Average Heating Temperatures

100˚C

40˚C

Surface Tension

Low

Very Low

Require Drying

Yes

No

Liquid Usage

4500 litres/week

4 litres/week

 

Summary

Despite vapour degreasing seeming to be the better cleaning process for its quality of cleaning, the cost investment and legislation for solvent usage is critical to consider. We recommend for someone looking to invest in solvent cleaning always do their research as once you get it right, you’ll get it right every time.

As for aqueous cleaning, it became popular when the risks of solvents were realised and industries were looking for the next best alternative. It is recognised that the quality may not be as perfect as vapour degreasing but it still cleans to a very high standard. The cost & simplicity of the method makes it a lot more approachable for small to medium cleaning productions.

Overall, both methods are good for different reasons much like the components they clean. Vapour degreasing is most popular in the aerospace industry where the metal components need to meet the utmost precision. While aqueous cleaning has been strongly adopted by companies for small to medium cleaning production. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses which benefit different demands of cleaning.

As Rileys sells both the solvent and aqueous cleaning machines, if you are unsure which direction to invest in for a cleaning line call our team for advice at +44(0)1922 45 8000.

Brand New
Riley Multiclean 2-120 Ultrasonic Washing & Rinsing Cleaning Line
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Riley Multiclean 2-120 Ultrasonic Washing & Rinsing Cleaning Line

The Riley Ultrasonic Cleaning and wash machine is a 2 stage operation. Built from 304 Stainless Steel the quality is clear to see at an excellent price.

Stock No
DA1400
Category
Aqueous Ultrasonic Cleaning & Washing
Model
Riley Multiclean 2-120
Year of Manufacture
2022
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
670 x 540 x 450
Process Stages
2 Stages, Ultrasonic wash and rinse
Condition
Brand New, Current Model
Availability:
In stock now
Price [?]
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Firbimatic Solvent Degreaser with MTA Chiller
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Firbimatic SF 200 V Compliant Totally Enclosed Solvent Degreaser with ICS TAE EVO Chiller

A fully automatic, very large capacity, solvent de-greaser with steam generator and ICS TAE EVO 251 MTA chiller unit. Designed to work with Perchloroethylene. Operates with swing action baskets that rock from side to side. Unit is fully programmable and total solvent recycling & low consumption via carbon recovery.

Stock No
DA1425J
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
Firbimatic SF 200 V
Year of Manufacture
2008
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
750 x 2000 x 750, Cap. 500Kgs
Process Stages
Four - Wash, Immersion, Vapour & Dry
Other Info
Solvent Percloroetilene C2CL4
Condition
Seen working by RSW, Excellent Condition
Sold As Seen Price [?]
£ 49,500 (+ VAT)
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ICI Cleanfast DLS 165
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D and S Ultraclean (ICI) Cleanfast DLS Model E165V Vapour Degreaser

A used stainless steel, semi-automatic, enclosed solvent vapour degreaser plant from the ICI range of cleaning machines. Degreaser used with Perchloroethylene. Double lid.

Stock No
DB1458
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
D and S Ultraclean (ICI) Cleanfast DLS Model E165V
Year of Manufacture
1999
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
500 x 500 x 700 s.w.l.30kg Max. Load.
Process Stages
2 Stage Liquid immersion vapor rinse/dry
Other Info
Automatic cleaning cycle EPA PP6/23 Comp
Condition
From a working environment, Good Condition, Seen powered at RSW
Refurbished Price [?]
£ 14,750 (+ VAT)
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Turbex AC-1,3-2 -LD Front Loading Spray Washer
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Turbex AC-1,3-2 -LD Front Loading Spray Washer

The AC two stage spray washing range is perfect for water based cleaning on medium to large components, where a single detergent wash followed with a rinse is sufficient. Features 1100mm diameter load.

Stock No
DC1483
Category
Aqueous Ultrasonic Cleaning & Washing
Model
Turbex AC-1,3-2 -LD
Year of Manufacture
2006
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
1000 x 1000 x 900
Process Stages
Two Stage, Wash and Rinse
Other Info
800Kg Load Capacity
Condition
From a working environment, Good Condition
Refurbished Price [?]
£ 11,750 (+ VAT)
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Special Offer
Firbimatic FD100VSS with ICS Chiller
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Firbimatic FD100VSS Totally Enclosed Solvent Cleaning Machine

Solvent based metal degreasing machine designed to be used with 'perchloroethylene'. Multiple wash options including ultrasonic, static, swivel or rotation of wash basket, pre-wash, wash, vapour clean and 2 rinse cycles. Complete with a self contained air cooled package chiller, TEA EVO 051. ** Approx. €95k NEW **

Stock No
DC1484
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
Firbimatic FD100 VSS
Year of Manufacture
2012
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
270 x 430 x 130
Process Stages
6 Stages
Other Info
50kg max capacity
Condition
From a working environment, Good Condition, Current Model
Refurbished Price [?]
£ 35,000 (+ VAT)
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Vixen Agisonic 100 Dunk Wash Machine
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Vixen Surface Treatments Agisonic 100 Dunk Wash Machine with Ultrasonic and Fixtures Sparge Jetting

This second hand Agisonic is a programmable multi-function wash plant which comprises dunk wash plus ultrasonic functions coupled to a separate wash cycle. There are sparge jets for washing out blind holes or recesses. Components can be set on special jigs, which direct the jets into the hard-to-clean places.

Stock No
DC1490
Category
Aqueous Ultrasonic Cleaning & Washing
Model
Vixen Surface Treatments Agisonic 100
Year of Manufacture
2008
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
1000 x 500 x (400 fluid depth)
Process Stages
3 Stages. Ultrasonic, Dunking & Jetting.
Other Info
Multi Stage Solution Filtration.
Condition
Refurbished by RSW, Excellent Condition
Refurbished Price [?]
£ 11,700 (+ VAT)
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Sold Subject to Contract
Kerry M250 Microsolve
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Kerry ( Guyson International ) Kerry M250 Microsolve

Microsolve Mono-Solvent two-stage systems provide ultrasonic cleaning using HFE (hydrofluoroether) or HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) solvents, followed by vapour rinsing and freeboard dry.

Stock No
DC1492
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
Kerry ( Guyson International ) Microsolve 250
Year of Manufacture
1998
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
250 x 200 x 250
Process Stages
2 Stage, Ultrasonic, Vapour Phase Dry
Other Info
Modern low emission solvent degreaser
Condition
From a working environment, Excellent Condition, Current Model
Special Offer
ICI Special Cleanfast DLS E265V Enclosed Low Emission Solvent Degreasing Plant
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ICI Special Cleanfast DLS E265V Enclosed Low Emission Solvent Degreasing Plant

ICI E265V Special vapour degreasing plant, carrier size of 900mm x 450mm x 550mm (H) offers a compliant solvent vapour phase cleaning cycle in a single operation. Complete with a unique ICI double lid sealing system, this immersion single-stage process tank can also be used with any wet process requiring fume extraction.

Stock No
DC1509
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
ICI E265V
Year of Manufacture
1998
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
900 x 450 x 550
Process Stages
Single stage vapour degreaser
Other Info
Low consumption plant. 250Kg SWL
Condition
From a working environment, Good Condition
Refurbished Price [?]
£ 9,750 (+ VAT)
Special Price (refurbished) [?]
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Kerry Microsolve M350C
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Kerry ( Guyson International ) Microsolve M350C Co-Solvent Ultrasonic Cleaner with Autotrans MK4 Basket Handling

The Kerry Microsolve system has three stages: ultrasonic cleaning, vapour rinsing and freeboard drying. The Microsolve has unique solvent retention features economic benefits & effective use of HFE or HFC solvents.
Note - This plant can be easily reconfigured to run as a co-solvent as originally designed by the OEM.

Stock No
DC1510
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
Kerry ( Guyson International ) M350 C Autotrans MK4
Year of Manufacture
2002
Process Stages
Ultrasonic Immersion, Vapour Rinse & Dry
Condition
From a working environment, Excellent Condition, Seen powered at RSW
Special Offer
Ecoclean Ecowave Automatic Industrial Cleaning System
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Ecoclean EcoCWave Automatic Industrial Cleaning System

Durr Ecoclean EcoCWave automatic industrial cleaning system. This system offers the user an infinitely variable set up for the cleaning and drying of a wide range of components, using a combination of flood washing, spray washing, ultrasonic cleaning, fixed, rotating or swivelling basket movement. Hot air and vacuum drying.

Stock No
DC1514
Category
Aqueous Ultrasonic Cleaning & Washing
Model
Ecoclean EcoCWave
Year of Manufacture
2017
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
670 x 480 x 300
Process Stages
3xclean/rinse/Ultrasonic/Hot air+vac dry
Other Info
Full Serviced Dec 2023
Condition
Excellent Condition, Current Model, Seen powered at RSW
Refurbished Price [?]
£ 125,000 (+ VAT)
Special Price (refurbished) [?]
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Special offer ends
28 March 2024 15:00 GMT while stocks last
Special Offer
Kerry Microsolve 250M 3 Stage Mono-Solvent Degreaser
More Images Available

Kerry ( Guyson International ) Microsolve 250M 3 Stage Mono-Solvent Degreaser

The Kerry Microsolve M250M Mono-Solvent vapour degreasing system manufactured by Guyson has three process stages comprising of cleaning, followed by vapour rinsing and freeboard drying.

Stock No
DC1519
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
Kerry ( Guyson International ) Microsolve M250M
Year of Manufacture
1998
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
250 x 200 x 250mm
Process Stages
Liquid Immersion - Vapour Rinse & Dry
Other Info
SED Compliant solvent degreaser
Condition
From a working environment, Good Condition
Refurbished Price [?]
£ 12,750 (+ VAT)
Special Price (refurbished) [?]
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CCH Solvac S1000 Ultrasonic Solvent Degreaser More Images Available

CC Hydrosonics CCH Solvac S1000 Ultrasonic Solvent Degreaser

The Solvac S1000 Mono-Solvent system manufactured by CC Hydrosonics has three process stages comprising of ultrasonic cleaning with or without basket rotation, followed by vapour phase rinsing and freeboard drying.

Stock No
DC1521
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
CC Hydrosonics S1000
Year of Manufacture
2008
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
700 x 300 x 600 Approx.
Process Stages
3 Stage Immersion, vapour rinse, and dry
Other Info
Stacked Immersion Ultrasonic, Rinse, dry
Condition
From a working environment, Good Condition
Refurbished Price [?]
£ Login or Register for price.
Sold As Seen Price [?]
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Special Offer
Branson Ultrasonics Solvent Degreaser
Video Available

Branson 3SLE Ultrasonic Solvent Degreaser

Branson 3SLE three-stage systems provide ultrasonic immersed cleaning using HFE (hydrofluoroether) or HFC (hydrofluoro-carbon) solvents, followed by vapour rinsing and freeboard drying.

Stock No
DX1246
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
Branson 3SLE
Year of Manufacture
2010
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
Internal basket size 590 x 270 x 330
Process Stages
3
Other Info
Only used sparingly in light industry
Condition
Seen working by RSW, Excellent Condition
Refurbished Price [?]
£ 18,750 (+ VAT)
Special Price (refurbished) [?]
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CC Hydrosonics Co-Solvent machine
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CC Hydrosonics Ultrasonic Solvent Precision Cleaning Machine

The SOLVAC TM Sealed Cleaning System has the technical capability of running most Non Flammable Solvents, via simple temperature adjustment ideal for any Precision Cleaning Application where a Solvent Process is deemed necessary.

Stock No
DX1285J
Category
Solvent Vapour Cleaning
Model
CC Hydrosonics Solvac TM sealed cleaning process
Year of Manufacture
2005
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
Baskets 390x270x200
Process Stages
3 immersion stage + vapour rinse & dry
Other Info
High output/through put automatic plant
Condition
From a working environment, Excellent Condition, Current Model
Refurbished Price [?]
£ 24,750 (+ VAT)
Special Price (refurbished) [?]
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28 March 2024 15:00 GMT while stocks last
Special Offer
Kerry 450 Microclean Machine
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Kerry ( Guyson International ) 450 Microclean Machine

Four stage ultrasonic aqueous cleaning system. Microclean Compact systems suit a wide range of cleaning needs in aerospace, automotive, electronics and other related industries.

Stock No
DZ1373
Category
Aqueous Ultrasonic Cleaning & Washing
Model
Kerry ( Guyson International ) CMP MKII 450
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
450 x 325 x 445mm
Process Stages
4 Stage, 3 wet stages plus hot air dry
Other Info
requires full service
Sold As Seen Price [?]
£ 3,950 (+ VAT)
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Special offer ends
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