Greener and Cleaner: One Company's Environmental Win
Large stamping house reduces its environmental and worker risks.
Eliminating chlorinated and other degreasing solvents for metal parts cleaning continues to command attention for environmental and worker safety reasons.
The phase-out of most ozone depleting solvents in the late 1980s and early 1990s, along with the regulatory limits placed on other chlorinated solvents, prompted manufacturers in many industrial segments to move entirely away from chlorinated solvent cleaning. However, in some segments, such as stamping and other metal forming, chlorinated lubricants remained the standard for decades because of limited alternatives.
Most often, these companies replace solvent vapor degreasing by adopting safer aqueous and organic solvent cleaning options. One of these operations, a large stamping house, wanted to reduce the environmental and worker risks associated with the high volume use of chlorinated solvents in its vapor degreaser.
As the company developed a business case for the full conversion from chlorinated to environmentally friendly custom lubrications needed to manufacture its variety of precision, deep-drawn metal enclosures, cases and stampings in stainless, titanium, brass, copper, cupronickel, and other metals, including some sensitive aluminum alloys, the company also looked at converting from TCE (trichloroethylene) to an aqueous ultrasonic immersion cleaning process.
The stamping house was successfully serving a large number of customers. Business continued to grow, but with a goal of becoming a greener company and reducing the risks associated with handling hazardous materials, an effective replacement for the TCE used in the company’s vapor degreasers had to be found.