Removing Cutting Oil, Linoleic Acid from Parts

Q: Some metalwork pieces have a residue of linoleic acid (traced back to the cutting oil) that remains after ultrasonic cleaning with Alconox detergent. Will Alconox will fully dissolve linoleic acid? Can you recommend a cleaning process to ensure complete removal of all linoleic acid (and cutting oil) residue from our parts?

A: Alconox® Powdered Precision Cleaner will not dissolve, but will emulsify, the linoleic acid on your machined parts. In order to get a linoleic-acid-free clean, increase concentration, time, and/or temperature.

Concentration relates to the capacity of the detergent, or amount of soil that can be carried away. For example if you are cleaning at 1%, increase to 2%. Or, if cleaning at 2%, go to 3%. From there, if needed, extend the cleaning time and/or try increasing the temperature of the ultrasonic bath. Increased temperature can get needed results in a shorter time for the cleaning cycle. At Alconox, Inc. our rule of thumb is that cleaning time is halved for every 10°C.

In the event that the increased cleaning parameters (concentration, time, and temperature) do not achieve the level of cleanliness you require, we can recommend a different detergent with a more powerful emulsifier. However, Alconox detergent should be sufficient for removing these residues.

Incidentally, for manual and ultrasonic cleaning of cutting oil from parts any of our alkaline detergents will make short work of the task, including, Alconox and Detonox detergents, as well as Liquinox® Critical Cleaning Liquid Detergent.

To request these or any Alconox, Inc. detergents for free, please complete the questionnaire at Get Sample. For more information about any one of our Alconox, Inc. detergents, consult the technical bulletin for each product. Or click here to access each of our detergent’s Safety Data Sheets.

Do you have a critical cleaning question for the experts at Alconox, Inc.?  Search TechNotes to see if it’s been answered before or Ask Alconox.

Contact us any time: cleaning@alconox.com



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