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Publication Title | SUPERCRITICAL CO2 CLEANING

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SUPERCRITICAL CO2 CLEANING:

THE DFD SYSTEM: DENSE FLUID DEGREASING SYSTEM

G. Lumia(1) – V. Achard(2) – Ch. Niemann(1) – Ch Bouscarle(1) – S. Sarrade (1)

(1) CEA DEN/VALRHÔ, Pierrelatte – 26702, France Email address: guy.lumia@cea.fr

(2) Société Unitech-Annemasse – ZI de Borly – 74380 Cranves Sales Email address: unitech2@wanadoo.fr

The Supercritical Fluids and Membranes Laboratory study the supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO2) potential for cleaning working metal parts and/or machine tools. Collaborations with aeronautic, connectic... industries, allowed us to develop a specific methodology to characterise organic contaminations, with lubricants from commercial trademark (hydraulic oil, viscous lubricant, aqueous fluid...) and to define both their behaviour and their removal, from contaminated alloy parts, in SCCO2.

SCCO2 efficiency cleaning assessment allowed us to set a cleanliness level and to compare it with the one generally used in the cleaning industries. Several tests on a restricted number of organic contaminants applied on real elements with complex geometry and recessed holes have been performed with a 10 litre rotating autoclave lab scale prototype according to an original concept.

At the same time, a collaboration has initiated with an industrial degreasing machine manufacturer (the Unitech-Annemasse company) for a SCCO2 cleaning machine engineering called DFD System: Dense Fluid Degreasing System, a CEA patented process with all innovative functions and a capacity of 100 litres. DFD System is an integrated process (with an easy to use push-button concept) for end-users with cleaning pre-selected programs.

Today, the DFD System is ready to be traded at the same price as up-market conventional machines (recycling solvent process).

I – INTRODUCTION

With the deadlines for the phase-out of ChloroFluoroCarbons (CFC’s) and other ozone depleting solvents closing in, most of concerned companies are changing their current manufacturing or cleaning processing operation to accommodate new environmentally and un-hazardous acceptable solvents [1]. Cleaning by SCCO2 is an alternative to conventional industrial cleaning with initial organic solvents and water-based with detergents [2].

Collaborations allowed us to develop a methodology to classify organic contaminations (hydraulic oil, viscous lubricant, corrosion protection film...) and to define their behaviour in SCCO2 (solubility and unextracted fraction) expecting their removal. Tests on real factory elements with complex geometry have been performed with a new 10 l. rotating autoclave prototype [3]. Then, we have been performed tests on numerous alloys parts issued from several partners in metal working on DFD System (100 litres of capacity).

II - PARTNERS INVOLVED IN A CLEANING PROJECT

Our Laboratory was involved in a European Program with the major aeronautical industries (Airbus industry,...). The aim was the substitution of VOC (Volatil Organic Compound) in the numerous cleaning operations for aeroplane building with reduction of VOC. We have initiated new collaborations with connectic and metal working industries (Radiall...). The aim was the substitution of trichloroethylene that began prohibited against a new European legislation 1999/13 (cancer hazard, R45 classification) [4]. For the commercial

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