CO2-Based Spray Cleaning of Automotive Parts
Spray technology offers unique particle and organic residue removal benefits.
Carbon-dioxide-based spray technologies have been effectively used to meet a wide range of demanding precision cleaning and surface preparation applications because of their unique and adaptable particle and organic residue removal capabilities in a non-condensing spray.
This article will summarize the technology, explore how it has been applied to the cleaning of automotive plastic parts, summarize O&M cost factors and present its advantages over traditional cleaning technologies.
The non-condensing solid CO2 particles generated by the integrated spray are used to remove particulate matter and organic material from critical surfaces. Liquid CO2 is injected into a capillary condenser where it is transformed into solid particles of variable size and density. The particles are then mixed with a heated and pressure-regulated inert propellant gas to form a homogenous, non-condensing mixture with both controllable spray composition and energy.
The resulting spray can be adapted to deliver particle impact pressures as high as 10,000 psi without damaging plastic part surfaces. Because the primary cleaning agent is solid CO2, which sublimes upon contact with the surface, there are no cleaning agent residues to manage. When combined with an integrated solvent injection, the spray can be used with atmospheric plasma and ionized air de-stat systems for additional surface treatment capability.
Because the spray cleans without condensation, no special component heating or cleaning zone segregation are necessary. This makes the technology easily adaptable to the sort of open-celled cleaning applications used in the automotive painting industry.