Cleaning Systems

Cleaning Systems for Hardening Plants

| Author / Editor: Simone Käfer / Janina Seit

Hardening plants require cleaning systems that reliably remove both oil contamination and dried inorganic residues from previous processes. In this article we present three machines based on different methods.

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In hardening shops, it is not only important to ensure that a component is cool again at the end. The cleanliness of the components plays a decisive role already during the process.
( Source: Pixabay / CC0 )

When components undergo heat-treatment in hardening shops, cleanliness plays a decisive role. This is because in further processing steps, layers can only be evenly applied if the components are clean.

In the following the three tested machines and methods are listed:

  • Niagara-VE from BVL removes oil and cooling lubricants from the components and in a subsequent step cleans them from stop-off coatings or quenching oils.
  • The joint development of EMO Oberflächentechnik and Hösel resulted in the product Beyond. This system is based on a solvent-water mixture.
  • Spray cleaning in a dual wash tank system with Elba developed by Mafac. It offers both a rotating pulsed compressed air blast drying system and a stationary hot air drying system.

The product tester of the week, Wolfram Wiech, is Managing Director at the hardening plant Händle. Up to now, the customer's components were treated in complex washing baths in cascades during the nitriding process in order to achieve the required cleanliness. A new cleaning plant has been installed to simplify this process.

The Niagara-VE Splash Flood System from BVL

The Niagara-VE from BVL is equipped with ultrasound cleaning as an option.
The Niagara-VE from BVL is equipped with ultrasound cleaning as an option.
( Source: BVL Oberflächentechnik )

The new system is used to remove oil contaminations and cooling lubricants from entire batches of components before the treatment. After the treatment the system removes stop-off coatings or quenching oils. In a first step, the parts are cleaned by spraying through narrowly installed special nozzle frames and by flooding in the same chamber. The system is also suitable for ultrasonic cleaning. The combined circulating air/vacuum drying is fast and energy-saving, even when components with complicated geometries a treated.

Händle is satisfied with the new plant and the next order has already been placed: Another plant from the Niagara-VE series was installed in January 2018.

Beyond: Water and Solvent in One Cleaning Process

The Beyond from EMO and Hösel can do something that no other cleaning system can do: It removes organic and inorganic soiling in one operation.
The Beyond from EMO and Hösel can do something that no other cleaning system can do: It removes organic and inorganic soiling in one operation.
( Source: EMO )

The partner companies EMO Oberflächentechnik and Hösel want to revolutionize the process of parts cleaning. They have succeeded in preparing a solvent-water mixture in such a way that both organic and inorganic soiling can be removed in a single operation. This makes the Beyond model an all-rounder: it can remove organic soiling such as oils, greases, waxes and petroleum as well as inorganic residues such as emulsions, salts, abrasion or fingerprints. Since the complete treatment takes place in a single cycle, the machine can be twice as fast as conventional hybrid systems. Logically, this system requires fewer peripherals. Fewer modules sometimes equal lower costs. According to the manufacturer, not only the investment in a Beyond plant is lower, but also the operating costs can be reduced thanks to the favorable energy balance. The machine also has a smaller footprint.

The Beyond process is particularly suitable for metal materials contaminated with emulsions or residues with a high oil content. The manufacturers see limitations of their system when it comes to very fine residues in the range of µ-meters or for applications with persistent grinding abrasion.

Elba: Spray Cleaning with Dual Wash Tank Technology

The Elba from Mafac scores with its dual wash tank technology.
The Elba from Mafac scores with its dual wash tank technology.
( Source: Elba )

Elba from Mafac is not only suitable for hardening shops. Its characteristic feature is the dual wash tank system. The wash tanks can be used for main washing or rinsing. For drying, users can choose between a rotating pulsed compressed air blast drying system or a stationary hot air drying system. Also worth mentioning is the multi-side spray system. Its counter-rotating basket pickup system can be switched off. A special nozzle arrangement ensures safe cleaning results. The two insulated tanks for the cleaning medium are reduce energy consumption and their cascaded design extends the serviceable life of the media. The coalescing oil separation system with integrated surface suction device is located in medium tank 1 and is equipped with high-level monitoring of the oil collection tank.

If you are also interested in new ways for efficient cleaning of moulds you can find an interesting article on SPOTLIGHTMETAL.

This article was first published by blechnet.

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