An ultrasonic vapor degreaser has two solvent-filled sumps (the boil sump and the cold sump which is filled with clean, distilled condensate solvent and is often used for rinsing). Near the top of the degreaser is a set of cooling coils, that catches the vapor before it escapes from the unit. It cools and condenses it back to its liquid form and flows it back to a clean condensate tank and finally it goes back to the boil sump or the rinse tank. Since oil and grease boil at a higher temperature than for chlorinated solvents, the vapor caused by the now oil mixed solvent, only vaporizes the clean chlorinated solvent not the dirty oil, if the temperature settings are correctly set. Therefore only clean vapor is used to clean parts.
Liquid vapor degreasing with solvent has been an accepted method of precision cleaning for over 50 years. It incorporates washing, rinsing, drying, and solvent reclamation in compact, cost-effective unit. This alone makes it a very attractive process for many production cleaning applications.
Degreasing and the Environment
Environmental concerns raised in the last decade have changed both the chemistry and hardware technology for degreasing. Solvents have been modified or replaced to eliminate ozone depletion potential and other hazards. Equipment designs and operating processes have been totally re-engineered to reduce solvent losses to near zero. All Branson solvent degreasers meet NESHAP regulations, Environmental Protection Agency directives, and other applicable regulations.
The Solvent Advantage
There are many benefits provided by solvent degreasing. Key among these are:
- No process chemistry to mix or maintain
- Solvent is reclaimed automatically in the unit - no significant waste stream
- Few process variables to be managed
- Very easy and cost effective to automate
- Results are not operator dependent
- Cost effective to purchase and operate
- Typically smaller footprint
A Simple Process
Perhaps the most attractive aspect of liquid vapor degreasing as a cleaning technology is the simplicity of the process itself:
- Parts are placed in a basket or carrier
- They are moved into the vapor zone (A) for pre-cleaning with hot vapors
- Then parts are transferred to the precision cleaning sump (B) for ultrasonic cleaning
- Parts cooled in the cleaning sump are returned to the hot vapor zone (A) for final rinsing
- A final stop in the freeboard area (C) allows any residual solvent vapors to return to the vapor zone
Branson's full line of precision ultrasonic vapor degreasers have been designed to operate with a broad range of commercially available solvents. This includes many of the traditional materials like methylene chloride, trichlorethylene, and perchloroethylene. They are also suitable for use with newer solvents like HCFC, HFC, HFE, n-propyl bromide, and others.