Ask the Experts
November 17, 2008 - Updated
November 17, 2008 - Originally Posted

Cleaning Water and Oil Based Contamination

What would be the best way to clean machine tool controls, such as PCB's and DC motor controllers, that have a combination of water based and oil based contamination?


Expert Panel Responses

I suggest you use a degreaser, we have one in a spray can that removes oil, grease, flux and a lot more. Then follow up with a cleanroom wipe that is comprised of monofilament low linting fiber, we carry that as well. An ESD version of this wipe is available if you are concerned about that. We also have an earth friendly presaturated wipe that is non flammable, biodegradable, and safe for humans. This product is called "friendly green." click to see our web site

Claudio Orefice
High-Tech Conversions Inc.
Claudio Orefice is president of High-Tech Conversions. They manufacture a variety of wiping products and can supply virtually any type of consumable item used in cleanrooms, assembly lines, laboratories and manufacturing

In the past people would use vapor degreasers that had solvents which were both polar and non-polar. An example of this was Freon TMS which consisted of a CFC and Methanol. These have gone by the wayside. The most important criteria when cleaning is to remember that likes dissolve likes. In this case you have both polar and no polar residues so you will need a blended solvent that offers both or water with a saponifier that can solubilize the oil based contamination.

Mike Scimeca
FCT Assembly
Mike Scimeca created FCT Assembly after the purchase of Fine Line Stencil, Inc., and consists of two major operations: stencil manufacturing and the manufacturing of electronic assembly products such as solder paste, flux and solder bar.

I would recommend you evaluate a vapor degreasing process, either mono-solvent or co-solvent. There is a good chance you have some water-sensitive parts or components. With vapor degreasing, you have several products and process options to chose from and all are non-aqueous (waterless).

Craig Hood
Director of Intl Sales and Global Marketing
Petroferm Inc.
Mr. Hood is Director of International Sales and Global Marketing for Petroferm's Cleaning Products Division, a manufacturer and supplier of cleaning agents for defluxing and stencil cleaning.
NOTE: Mr. Hood is no longer working at Petroferm Inc.
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