What are some cleaning options for a die producer?
Q. My company has stamping dies (max size 30" × 60" × 20"). Our tools badly need to be degreased and cleaned. We have a thick (1/16"), hard layer of oil in non-working areas of the tool. Is there any spray cleaner for such hard layers? Do you recommend any kind of ultrasonic cleaning? I am looking for some kind of cleaning apparatus that we can place our stamping die in after coming out of the press, spend few minutes and clean the die. —C.M.
A. Two possible options come to mind. A dedicated carousel type washer could be effective at spray-washing the tool to remove the contaminant. This is essentially a wash cabinet with a riser system where the part may circulate around a series of wash risers with nozzles that can flood and apply high pressure spray to the part of interest to get it clean. The cleaner concentration, time and temperature can be adjusted to achieve the optimal cleaning results for the design of the cabinet.
Another option may be an ultrasonic, immersion, heated cleaning tank. In this case, the cleaner will be assisted with the elevated temperature that can help soften the hardened oil and the mechanical assistance of the ultrasonic cleaner that will be undercut and lifted from the surface of the part.
I recommend you contact parts washer suppliers that deal in these types of equipment and discuss your challenge with them. Ideally, you would be able to ship them a dirty die to allow them to perform a test cleaning so you can validate the effectiveness of one of these cleaning systems and determine the process parameters necessary to effectively clean these dies in your shop.