Ask the Experts
August 2, 2017 - Updated
July 4, 2007 - Originally Posted

Cleaning solvent to replace Forane 141b?

One of our customers requires FORANE 141b to clean his boards. I believe FORANE will no longer be used, so I am trying to find an alternative that gives the same cleaning quality. Any suggestions?


Expert Panel Responses

You are correct, the Forane cleaners (also called "Genesolv" and "HCFC-141b") has been discontinued and phase-out due to ozone-depletion issues. It was a "Class II" ozone-depleting substance, regulated under the Montreal Protocol, and production actually stopped at the end of 2002. So users have been living off stockpiled inventory for four years now, and those supplies are almost completely exhausted. Check out Microcare for more details. The best replacements for Forane will exhibit similar handling, energy efficiency, flammability, evaporation, materials compatibility and personal safety characteristics. Based on those demanding standards, your best choice will be a cleaner called "Flux Remover C" from Micro Care Corp., or the parent feedstock from DuPont Corp. called "Vertrel CMS." This product is available world-wide from authorized distributors, and is stocked locally in most instances. It dries fast, has almost no aroma, is completely ozone-safe, is truly nonflammable in any packaging (unlike some formulations being marketed as -141b replacements, which are flammable in bulk but nonflammable in aerosol!), and has very good toxicity ratings. For more details check out the web site of Micro Care at and look for "Fast-drying defluxers".

Mike Jones
Vice President
Micro Care
Mr. Jones is an electronics cleaning and stencil printing specialist. Averaging over one hundred days a year on the road, Mike visits SMT production sites and circuit board repair facilities in every corner of the globe, helping engineers and technicians work through the complex trade-offs today's demanding electronics require.

There is no single alternative to 141b. Since each has its own performance characteristics, it is important to test the replacements in the intended applications. The solvents below are available from Ecolink Inc., a leading provider of environmentally-preferred solvents. Many of the products meet military and aerospace specifications. In some cases, it is more cost-efficient and effective to introduce two new chemistries to replace HCFC-141b. For example, in the attached chart, Positron might be used for general purpose degreasing and Ecolink 3005 for contact and critical cleaning.

Terry Jeglum
Electronic Technology Corporation
Mr. Jeglum has 35+ years experience and is the founder of Electronic Technology Corporation. He is responsible for 22 years of program management for the Company.

Forane 141b is a substitute for Forane 113, and this is an Ozone depleting chemical and I would not recommend its use. See UNEP site for further information on CFC, HCFC chemicals which impact the Ozone layer. I would recommend talking to people at Kyzen, as they should be able to help out once the contaminant on your product has been defined.

Leo Lambert
Vice President, Technical Director
EPTAC Corporation
At EPTAC Corporation, Mr. Lambert oversees content of course offerings, IPC Certification programs and provides customers with expert consultation in electronics manufacturing, including RoHS/WEEE and lead free issues. Leo is also the IPC General Chairman for the Assembly/Joining Process Committee.

Personally I don't have a clue but when I searched Forane 141b on the internet about 100 pages came up (some actually in English) and the following one seemed to have some reasonable input... See Micro Care Marketing Services But there are many others as well. Anyway, at the end of the day the best thing to do is bring in the vendors, do some testing and let data be your guide. If there are any questions or if additional information is needed, please feel free to ask.

Marc Peo
Heller Industries Inc.
Mr. Peo has been with Heller Industries for over 20 years and has been President for the past 8 years. Marc has authored several industry articles on Soldering, Flux collection, nitrogen use and Lead Free conversion.

You are correct, 141B is no more. There is an array of replacement materials on the market. Some of these are aerosol only, others are both liquid and aerosol. Mike Jones mentioned the comprehensive offering from MicroCare, and likewise, Kyzen has Cybersolv 141R material that has proven to be a very effective cleaner.

Tom Forsythe
Vice President
Kyzen Corporation
Mr. Forsythe is a recognized expert in cleaning chemistries and processes. Tom has a Bachelor's in Applied Mathematics & Engineering from the US Naval Academy. He is well published in both the industry trade magazines. Tom has spent the last 14 years with Kyzen Corporation.
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