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Eco-friendly cleaning system launched by Dürr Ecoclean

Eco-friendly cleaning system launched by Dürr Ecoclean

Added to MTDCNC by MTDCNC on 08 October 2012

An innovative, eco-friendly cleaning system based on air and steam delivery has been developed by Dürr Ecoclean, Germany, for processing a wide range of sizes and types of industrial component. Called EcoCSteam, it is available in the UK through sole agent, Geo Kingsbury Machine Tools, Gosport.

The equipment is suitable for cleaning large, heavy parts such as wind turbine gearboxes, railway engine blocks and bogies, and parts for ships, but is equally efficient at cleaning smaller housings, stamped parts and general manufactured items. Consistently high process reliability makes the system especially well suited to cleaning components before they are painted or otherwise coated.

The chemical-free process is based on the flow of saturated steam and high velocity air. It is capable of removing a wide range of contamination, such as oil, grease, emulsions, chips, dust and fingerprints, from any material reliably, consistently, quickly and cost effectively.

Compared to other cleaning techniques, the system gives better cleaning results and enables quicker cycles. At the same time, investment and operating costs are lower and the equipment footprint is smaller. The EcoCSteam system can be installed in a painting booth and automated with the aid of robots.

Dürr Ecoclean developed the method of steam generation based on the principle of continuous-flow hot water systems. Pressurised water flows through a pipe fitted with heating coils which, depending on the cleaning task, raise the water temperature to between 135 and 280°C. The water is converted to steam before being pumped out of the pipe and fed to the cleaning nozzle.

In contrast to standard boiler systems, continuous-flow steam generation allows the volume and quality of steam to be kept constant, ensuring reproducible cleaning results. The EcoCSteam PLC control accurately adapts the flow of water and steam as well as thermal output to suit the cleaning task, continuously monitoring the parameters and adjusting them as required.

When the jet of steam exits the nozzle, a jacket of high-speed, hot air focuses and concentrates the jet and directs it at the surface to be cleaned. Due to the high velocity air flow and the properties of the steam, the two media remain separate.

The amount of liquid contained in the steam is adjusted to suit the application. For example, wet steam effectively removes oil, whose viscosity is altered so that it is atomised into tiny droplets. These are then blasted off the component surface by the air flow, together with any particulate contamination present. The high-velocity air flow then dries the surface.

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