Special CO2 snow jet technology developed by Advanced Clean Production GmbH simultaneously carries out cleaning and deburring of medical instruments and implants. According to the company, the process can be integrated inline, is reproducible, reliable, dry, environmentally friendly and fulfils the highest cleanliness requirements.
Not only can carbon dioxide be used in numerous applications to clean substrates in the field of medical technology, it is also environmentally friendly and easy on resources. This is because the carbon dioxide needed for the CO2 snow jet cleaning technique is generated as a by-product during manufacturing processes in the chemical industry and is therefore carbon-neutral. One application is the simultaneous cleaning and deburring of cannulas, tooth implant sockets and surgical saws. The process is capable of removing burrs in the micro-range effectively and reliably, the company says.
The snow jet technology uses liquid carbon dioxide as a blasting medium. As a result, as opposed to dry-ice processes, there is no need to manufacture and store dry ice pellets separately. The liquid carbon dioxide is fed through a supersonic two-component nozzle which is the system's cleaning head. On exiting the nozzle, the CO2 expands to form a mixture of snow and gas, which makes up the core jet. Compressed air is added as a jacketed jet to accelerate the CO2 snow crystals to supersonic speed. Impacting the surface to be cleaned, the snow crystals liquefy and then sublimate.
The resulting sublimation impulse detaches contamination and carries it away. In its liquid state, carbon dioxide also acts as a solvent, thus removing organic contamination such as grease, oil and polishing compounds. The combination of mechanical, thermal and chemical properties enables the non-toxic, non-combustible CO2 snow to remove solid and filmy contamination in a dry and residue-free process. The low degree of hardness of the tiny snow crystals means that finely-structured, sensitive surfaces can be cleaned without any problem, the company says.
Various devices are supplied by acp for CO2 snow jet cleaning. Complete systems and modules can be integrated into fully-automated production lines, or used as stand-alone solutions. Depending on the task at hand, systems made for cleanroom usage are fitted with a local cleanroom system (MENV) and specially-adapted suction equipment.