Cleaning Glass Castings: Alconox or Detonox?

Q. We are having an issue plating aluminum on glass castings. It appears there is mold release left on the glass after the casting. The glass manufacturer recommended Alconox detergent. Is that what you would your recommend for cleaning the glass? Whatever we use, it probably needs to be a soak at a high temperature (>170°)? Is this procedure good or should we use an ultrasonic at the higher temperature?

A. Detonox® Ultimate Precision Cleaner is a powerful emulsifier, which is why we recommend it for tough residue removal like mold release over Alconox® Powdered Precision Cleaner…  although both can work. Both detergents can be used up to very hot (some customers use at boiling) temperatures.  The high heat is critical with these kinds of residues as the heat expedites and softens.

Whatever we use, it probably needs to be at a high temperature (>170°) and the first rinse to be at the same temperature. Is this procedure good or should we also have the glass in an ultrasonic cleaner at the higher temperature?

If direct mechanical energy can be applied, that is best of course. However, that proves a challenge when temperatures are very hot, as PPE will be critical. I would suggest using an ultrasonic with hot temperatures to determine if that works. This minimizes operator contact. I would start with a 2-3% solution of either detergent (again Detonox will likely be found to be more effective) and optimize from there.

The first rinse will need to be at the same temperature to ensure that micelles that form are not broken due to thermal shock.  This would in turn risk redepositing the very mold release agent residue you are looking to remove from the glass castings.

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