The Elimination of Flammable, RCRA and ODC Solvents for Wipe Application

by E. P. Lopez, W. E. Moddeman, J. Birkbeck, D. L. Williams, and M.G. Benkovich

Part One of this article examined hydrofluoroether (HFE) and a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) cleaners currently being considered as potential replacements for flammable solvents. Part Two reports on the cleaning efficacy, short-term and long-term materials compatibility, corrosion, drying times, flammability, environment, safety and health (ES&H) issues and accelerated aging studies are among the tests that are being conducted and that are used to screen candidate solvents, the traditionally used isopropyl alcohol, which serves as the baseline cleaner.

Preliminary cleaning efficacy results as determined by the contact angle indicate that isopropyl alcohol and the HFE solvent are roughly equivalent in the removal of silicone grease, fluorinated grease and a simulated fingerprint contaminant from various metal alloys. On the other hand, the MESERAN and XPS techniques indicate that in general the HFE solvent, as applied on a Kimwipe is not as effective as isopropyl alcohol. However, XPS analysis demonstrated that the HFE solvent was at least as effective as isopropyl alcohol for removing the simulated finger print contaminant when wiped with a pre-moistened cloth. This article also elaborates on the operational benefits of using the HFE and HFC cleaners.

Published via CleanTech Magazine, 4(10); 14-16 (2004)

About the Authors: E. P. Lopez is from Sandia National Labs, W. E. Moddeman, J. Birkbeck, and D. L. Williams (now at SHSU) are from BWXT Pantex, (Amarillo), and M. G. Benkovich is from Honeywell, (Kansas City). Author’s Note: Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Dept. of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

Requests for a pdf reprint can be made to williams “at” shsu “dot” edu.