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Published: July 20, 2015

Q. We are currently using Alconox® for cleaning of space environment simulation chambers. What do you recommend for a process to clean steel piping contaminated with DC-704 and Fryquel 550 and turbomolecular vacuum pump backing piping at JSC/NAS?

A. Alconox® detergent is the right choice, but vacuum pump grease is a very heavy difficult to remove residue.  We recommend using very hot (170 deg F if possible) 2% Alconox® (20 g/L) followed by a very hot first rinse (the same temperature as the cleaning).  The reason for the hot rinse is to avoid breaking the emulsion and redepositing the vacuum grease. After the first rinse, you can complete rinsing with whatever temperature water is most convenient.

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