ITW Chemtronics - Some Alternate Uses for Chemtronics Products

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By: Michael Watkins, ITW Chemtronics

Beyond the normal uses for Chemtronics solvent cleaners and other products in removing grease and grime from electronic circuit boards or repairing circuit board traces, Chemtronics® products have been used by our customers in a number of nontraditional uses. Many of these new uses have been reported to us by our customers and we have made many of our own recommendations to solve a particular problem. I will discuss a few of these non-traditional applications with the hope that this will trigger a response from the field regarding other uses not reported here and be a guide in suggesting Chemtronics products for applications outside our traditional markets.

Just as Chemtronics Electro-Wash® cleaners are used for removing oil, grease and other contaminants from printed circuit boards, these products can also be used to remove oil and grease from metal surfaces and equipment. Electro-Wash® NXO and Electro-Wash® MX make good degreasing solvents for cleaning electric motors, pumps, conveyors and other production machinery. MX is particularly effective in removing older, built-up grease and grime accumulations due to its slower evaporation rate, which helps it stay on the job longer to dissolve more grease. In a like manner Electro- Wash® NX offers a non-flammable alternative for heavy duty grease and grime removal. All three products offer safe replacements for traditional degreasing products which contained the now-banned chlorinated solvents.

Another use for these solvent cleaners that is of interest in the field is the removal of printing ink and the cleaning of print heads and printer cartridges. In these applications I have encountered a requirement for removing printing from metal bar stock, cleaning ink and built-up ink residue from print heads and the refurbishment of re-cycled ink printing cartridges. In testing the various products I have used the approach of selecting solvents on the basis of relative cleaning strength, trying the mildest cleaner first, then advancing to stronger cleaners...

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