Removing Plating Wax from Aircraft Parts

Question: I am currently using PCE vapor degreasing to remove plating wax from aircraft parts.


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Question:

I am currently using PCE vapor degreasing to remove plating wax from aircraft parts. Any suggestions/experience on use of a hot oil solvent followed by removal by aqueous wash? K.D.

Answer:

PCE (perchloroethylene) is frequently used for cleaning parts with any type of waxy residue on them. This is due to the reasonably good solvency of the material and the high boiling point (about 250F). The high temperature softens and often melts the wax. The PCE can then start to solubilize the wax, effectively removing it.

Any alternate cleaning systems would have to work by a similar mechanism. They would have to operate in a temperature region that would soften or liquefy the wax, then allow the cleaner to remove it. Unless it is a relatively low melting-temperature wax (about 200F), aqueous cleaning will probably not be adequate for the removal of it.

I would start by contacting your current solvent suppliers and discussing your requirements with them. They may distribute a solvent that would work for you. If you are not satisfied with their substitutes, several suppliers may be found in the 2000 edition of the PF Directory and Technology Guide. Look on pages 542-543 under the categories Solvents, Degreasing and Solvents, mask-washing.

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