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Published: June 18, 2019

Q. In the past you have recommended your Detojet detergent for our sensitive plastics (stressed polycarbonate), mentioning that it does not have a surfactant.   Can you elaborate for us why?

A.  You are correct that Detojet® Low Foaming Liquid Detergent is surfactant free and is the correct Alconox Inc. detergent to use when cleaning stressed polycarbonate, acrylic or other plastics where stress cracking or crazing has occurred, or is expected to occur.  Note that as a low foamer, Detojet detergent may be used for manual cleaning (scrubbing, soaking, sonication) as well as a washer or high pressure sprayer applications.

The stress-cracking of stressed polycarbonate and other sensitive plastics is the result of a liquid diffusing into the substrate of the polymer’s matrix.  Low surface tension fluids, i.e. surfactant containing detergents, alcohol and the like, diffuse easily into these kinds of sensitive plastics.  As diffusion is occurring, swelling and some crystallization can occur resulting in the crazing lines or stress cracking.  Often times these marks are superficial and not structural, however, we certainly recommend avoiding their appearance by utilizing non-surfactant containing detergents to clean these parts and surfaces.

While surfactants are typically an integral part of a detergent’s synergistic blend, surfactant-free Detojet cleaner contains sequestering and oxidizing agents, along with chelation and alkalinity to create a powerful cleaning tool.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

To request this 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.

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