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Blog posts of '2014' 'May'

Industrial Degreasers - Ensuring Quality in Manufacturing

Taster: Many manufacturing and re-manufacturing processes require the use of petroleum products. If the are in the wrong place, quality can suffer. To ensure that your products are of the best possible quality, using an industrial degreaser is essential.

During manufacturing processes, oils and greases are often used. If these are not thoroughly removed from the work piece, they can interfere with subsequent operations, weakening bonds between surface coatings or joints. Industrial degreasers are therefore a crucial element of your production. If you select the wrong one, or one that does not work consistently well, your company's reputation for quality could well be on the line.

Choosing a degreaser

There are two main families of industrial degreaser, solvent based and aqueous i.e water based. Solvent based degreasers are frequently used in the electronics and automotive industries whilst aqueous based products are commonly used for degreasing metals prior to coating and for cleaning machinery and heavy equipment. APT offer you a range of surface cleansers, covering virtually all manufacturing areas.

The electronics industry

Soldering fluxes are petroleum based. Despite that, the slightest traces of oil or grease on the surfaces to be joined can impair the effectiveness of the bond, leaving it weaker than expected with the potential for premature failure.

After soldering, all traces of the flux need to be removed in order to avoid corrosion issues.

Solvent based industrial degreasers, for example Lec 3, Kagez 703 and Microtec 41-80 from APT, are formulated to remove all traces of contaminants and flux thus ensuring that your product will meet your quality control standards, however stringent. They are chlorine free and evaporate quickly and completely leaving no surface residue.

Surface coating

Whether your company produces painted panels, anodised aluminium parts or plastic coated items, you need to ensure that thorough cleaning takes place prior to the finishing processes. Inefficient removal of manufacturing oils, greases and other surface contamination will lead to poor coating adherence.

Water based industrial degreasers such as UltraMax OPT, Industrial Metal Cleaner are the perfect solution for filling your dip tank or ultrasonic bath.

We appreciate that the needs of anodised aluminium producers are very specific. Traditionally, you will have used caustic products, however, APT produce a non-caustic alkaline cleaner, Metasoak HDI. This powerful product degreases aluminium thoroughly, leaving your aluminium parts ready for etching prior to the final anodising process.


Parts for re-manufacturing will almost inevitably arrive in a dirty state. Much of this contamination is likely to be bound in oil or grease and can be removed using solvent or aqueous based degreasing products. For small parts re-manufacturers, a citrus based solvent degreaser like Citrus RTU in a parts cleaner proves a cost effective and efficient solution.

Parts that have been subjected to high temperature use such as engines and engine parts can also have heavily carbonised areas. APT's Carb Clean solvent based degreaser has been specially formulated to remove this tough coating.

In conclusion

Removal of surface contamination is an integral part of any manufacturing process. If you compromise on this important step, your customer complaints department will probably find itself increasingly busy!

Choose the right industrial degreaser to ensure that your manufacturing quality standards are maintained. APT do not compromise on quality of raw materials thus giving you the confidence and peace of mind that this link in the manufacturing chain will not let you down.

Considerations for choosing the best Solvent Cleaner and Degreaser

Most manufacturing companies evaluate the many potential solvent cleaners and degreasers based on two very common factors: performance and cost.  Although these are very important considerations, there are several other aspects and differences that should be taken into account when selecting your final brand.  

EPA Regulations

Even if you are not particularly interested in “green” technologies, you should always be aware of the EPA’s stance on the types of chemicals that are legally allowed to be contained within your solvent cleaners and degreasers. There is a growing national concern regarding environment awareness, and the EPA is following suit by banning or prohibiting the use of several types of hazardous chemicals contained within these substances. As the regulations continue to tighten, be wary of buying brand names that may soon be obsolete. You may end up with a huge stockpile of solvents that you can never use.

Age of the Machinery and Individual Parts

Solvent cleaners and degreasers are not only tough on dirt and grime, they can also be very harsh on the individual pieces and parts of your manufacturing machinery. Some brand names can speed up the oxidation process, cause increased amounts of rust and corrosion, and perhaps even leave large water spots that can hamper the smooth running interaction between individual parts and mechanisms. “Cheaper” is not always “better”. Look for products that have limited threats of oxidation, corrosion, and water spots.

Pricing based on Petroleum

Be aware that some of your solvent cleaners and degreasers may contain certain types of petroleum distillates. Petroleum is basically a fancy word for “oil”, and oil prices can drastically fluctuate. By choosing a company brand that is constantly increasing its solvent pricing with every price increase of petroleum, you may begin to witness a rollercoaster effect when it comes to your corporate maintenance budget. Choosing a biodegradable option or one that is non-petroleum based will keep your expenses more uniform. Even better, you can save more money in the excessive disposal fees associated with the waste products of petroleum products.

Supplier Stability

When you consider the above listed three additional considerations, you can begin to see how some suppliers of environmentally questionable solvent cleaners and degreasers can be somewhat unstable. As the EPA guidelines and protocol continue to become more rigid and inflexible, these other company brands will begin to experience a severe decrease in profits. This means that their products will either increase in price considerably or disappear altogether. Look for a company that is already offering environmentally safe and bio-degradable solutions. These will be the ones who will be remaining in business for the long term and who’s pricing will be much more stable and dependable.

Of course there are many other considerations, such as higher flash points or lower VOC’s, but choosing the perfect types of solvent cleaners and degreasers for your very expensive manufacturing machinery is not an issue that should be taken lightly. When reviewing your many options, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call the sales representative of the solvent supplier. Many of your concerns can be put to rest very easily.