It is critical in many applications and uses environments, particularly for oxygen-rich types of applications, to avoid creating a potential hazard by introducing contaminants into these processes.
Oxygen cleaning is used to remove surface chemicals and materials from metal parts and components that are to be used in oxygen-rich environments. The importance of the process cannot be understated as materials that contain hydrocarbons, when placed in an oxygen rich environment, can result in combustion in the form of explosions or burning.
What is Removed
In the process of oxygen cleaning more than just grease, oil or other types of processing liquids can be removed from the parts. It is also possible to remove the volatile organic compounds or VOCs in addition to the hydrocarbons.
There is also the ability to remove particles from the surface. These can include small fibers or lint material as well as dust, weld slag and even small filings and file dust. Inorganic compounds including phosphates, nitrates and acids or solvents that may have been used in other processes for the part or components can also be easily removed through the process.
In most cases, large deposits of organic or inorganic materials will be cleaned from the part or component prior to the final oxygen cleaning process. This may include the use of mechanical options such as grinders, wire brushes or even blasting. It is also common to use chemical solutions to remove the materials and to avoid any residual surface residue.
The specific process or processes selected to complete this cleaning will depend on the material, the part or component shape as well as other factors. Cleaning can be completed on most types of metal alloys, including specialized alloys such as titanium and Inconel as well as stainless, copper, brass or low carbon types of steel.