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Published: June 25, 2024

Q: How would you clean fatty acids and cationic residues off of polycarbonate?  We would like to avoid a harsh solvent and are considering an aqueous solution. 

A: This is an interesting combination of residues/substrates.  As the battery industry continues to evolve, our application knowledge and recommendations move right along with it.  One issue to focus on is if the polycarbonate is “stressed” in nature as described here: Cleaning Stressed Polycarbonate.  If so, most solvents, be they “harsh” or otherwise, as well as surfactant containing aqueous detergents would need to be avoided, as they are all low surface tension fluids.  In such cases we would go with surfactant-free Detojet® Low Foaming Liquid Detergent.  This, due to its alkalinity and chelation should be very effective on the fatty acid residues.  A 2-3% concentration and warm solution is a good place to start.

Cationic battery residues can be quite difficult.  The Detojet detergent is certainly worth evaluating, as every application is different.  We have noted success with Detergent 8® Low-Foaming Ion-Free Detergent in this area.  If the polycarbonate is not stressed, we’d recommend evaluating Detergent 8.  This detergent should be a solution for both residues.

Often times a bit of bench work is required to determine the best outcome here.  We’d be happy to work with you on application specifics and evaluate in our testing labs.

Both Detojet and Detergent 8 cleaners are low foaming and therefore can be used in both manual, clean out of place settings, as well as high pressure and washer applications requiring low foam products.

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.

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