Degreasing of Solid Surfaces by Microbubble Cleaning
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It is increasingly required to reduce the environmental impact and cost in the field of industrial cleaning. As a substitute for conventional degreasing technology using organic solvents, acids, and alkalis, the authors have developed a new cleaning technology that uses microbubbles having an average diameter of about 70 μm. Grease being adsorbed onto a bubble's surface and grease being separated from a solid surface by its buoyancy were captured using a high-speed microscopic video camera to demonstrate the degreasing capability of bubbles. High-density microbubbles were generated by adding a trace amount of a specific chemical (0.1% weight or less). The cleaning performance using microbubbles was found to be highly improved compared with that using normal bubbles. It was also revealed that the grease removal efficiency was strongly dependent on the viscosity of the grease. Raising the temperature of the cleaning solution is an effective method of improving cleaning performance by reducing the viscosity. Finally, the degreasing of about 150 machining metal parts at the same time was demonstrated to exceed the common target cleaning level (5–20 μg/cm2) in only 2 min because of their large surface area. Furthermore, the high degreasing performance was maintained even after repeated use of the cleaning solution because of the separation of grease due to buoyancy.
- Jpn J Appl Phys
Jpn J Appl Phys 46(3A), 1236-1243, 2007-03-15
INSTITUTE OF PURE AND APPLIED PHYSICS