Firbimatic Spa

Chemical maintenance of solvent systems during the summer break

— 31 / 07 / 2020

Summer: time for holidays, company closings and … downtime!

Periodic maintenance of the machines is essential for the correct and prolonged functioning of the metal washing systems and should not be interrupted in the summer during the studowns.

In particular, for solvent cleaning machines, a prolonged period of inactivity could cause various types of anomalies and process problems when normal operation resumes.

Together with SAFECHEM we have created this short guide with simple tips to put into practice for a correct maintenance of the solvents in case of downtime.


When something in your solvent cleaning machine does not work properly

A reduced stabilizer concentration, increased level of acidity, blue to green discoloration of the solvent and water phases, rust formation in the water separator.

Here are a number of signs that should not be underestimated following a prolonged downtime.

The main causes of changes in the solvent

When a cleaning machine is switched off for the summer break of the company following a period of high utilization it is possible to notice how the solvent that is in the washing tank, in the water separator and inside the distillation unit (or in the steam generator):

  1. has different levels of stabilization;
  2. has been exposed to different contaminations.

During the downtime since no stabilizing or solvent distillation can take place acids can continue to form even at lower temperature levels.

Thus, following machine restart the stabilizer content could go down or , alternatively, the acidity level could go up.

These circumstances are frequent when the company uses large quantities of chlorinated oils in its metal washing system.

The preventive action we suggest our customers is a frequent check and maintenance of the solvent before resuming with normal activity in order to evaluate the conditions of the same and take the appropriate measures.

Let’s see, specifically, what are the actions to be followed.

Solvent maintenance in metal washing systems, here are some simple recommended actions to apply

Both in the case in which the machine stop is programmed or, on the contrary, it is unexpected, there are a series of precautions that all companies that use a solvent washing system should observe BEFORE and AFTER the downtime.

Let’s see the details.

Six months before the scheduled break, it is advisable to evaluate the need to carry out a deep maintenance of the metal washing system.

If the previous assessment is successful, at least one month before the stop, the company should request an analysis of the solvent used.

The day before the plants close, we recommend adding the maximum recommended stabilizer dosage to the solvent and running the machine without components for a whole cycle: at the end of this distillation process, we recommend carrying out a new test on the solvent.

The first thing to do the day after the reopening of the company, and before restarting the metal washing system, is a scrupulous check:

  • the presence of rust in the water separator;
  • the level of discoloration of the solvent.

It is clear that in case of rust and high discoloration it is necessary to request an immediate analysis of the solvent, empty the distillation unit and then fill it with clean solvent.

Otherwise it is possible to proceed with the switching on of the solvent washing system with the necessary precautions, namely:

  • after 2 days from restarting the system, carry out a new test on the solvent and, in the event of a negative result, add the maximum stabilizer dosage;
  • the next day, when 3 days have passed since the machine was restarted, a new test must be carried out;
  • in the week following the restart of the washing system it is advisable to carry out a new test.

In the event of a POSITIVE RESULT we can consider our solvent OPERATIVE while, in the event of a NEGATIVE RESULT, it is good to empty the distillation unit again by filling it with new solvent by contacting the Assistance Service.

Are you planning the summer break and want to evaluate the solvent status of your metal washing system? CONTACT US NOW!

Do you want to know more?


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