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The EcoCSteam steam cleaning process ensures rapid and reliable removal of particulates oils grease emulsions mold lubricants chips particles dust and fingerprints from any material without the use of detergents It lends itself easily to automation and can be integrated into manufacturing lines

High-Speed, Chemical-Free Part Cleaning

April 15, 2013
One solution, many applications Saturated steam + high-velocity airflow Higher cleaning quality in less cycle time Adjustable moisture content

DÜRR ECOCLEAN has developed an eco-friendly cleaning technology that reliably removes both particulate and film-type contamination from parts and surfaces of materials without any use of chemicals. The EcoCSteam method uses saturated steam, plus high-velocity airflow. Apart from its ecological advantages, the process can be easily automated and excels in economic and quality aspects.

In industrial part and surface cleaning, optimization of cost efficiency, sustainability, and quality has gained increasing significance. Dürr Ecoclean GmbH's EcoCSteam technology supports this trend. The new steam cleaning process ensures rapid and reliable removal of particulate and film-type contaminants – e.g., oils, grease, emulsions, mold lubricants, chips, particles, dust, and fingerprints – from any material without the use of detergents. Another advantage of this eco-friendly technology is that it lends itself easily to automation and can be integrated into manufacturing lines without any problem.

In the past, cleaning large and heavy parts such as wind turbine transmissions, railway engine blocks, and vehicle bogies, or boat and ship engines required extremely large and expensive cleaning equipment. For such applications EcoCSteam opens up new perspectives in cleaning quality and cost efficiency. Moreover, the process provides optimal results when it comes to cleaning mechanical items, such as, e.g., cylinder heads, housings and stampings. It is likewise suitable for cleaning tanks, composite parts, and sectional material, as well as metal and plastic parts intended for subsequent painting or coating. Compared to conventional solutions, EcoCSteam provides higher cleaning quality in less cycle time. This has been demonstrated in diverse applications, inside and outside the automotive industry.

New Steam Generation Method

Critical to the effectiveness of the EcoCSteam process is the new steam generation method, developed by Dürr Ecoclean in cooperation with experts in this field. It is based on the principle of "flow-through" water heating, whereby pressurized water is passed through a piping system comprising heater coils. Depending on the cleaning task, the water is thus heated to a temperature between 135° and 280°C. Its conversion to steam takes place before the water is pumped from the piping to the cleaning nozzle.

Unlike conventional boiler systems, the flow-through steam generating method ensures that steam is available in constant amounts and quality, thus bringing unvarying steam properties to the cleaning task. The water and steam flow rates as well as heating power can be accurately adapted to the cleaning application via the EcoCSteam system's programmable logic controller, which also monitors and controls these parameters permanently.

The system's cleaning performance is the result of the interaction of saturated steam with a high-velocity airflow. As the steam jet exits the nozzle, it is enshrouded by heated air accelerated to a very high velocity, and thus focused directly onto the surface to be cleaned. Any intermixing between the two media is prevented by the high-velocity airflow, and the properties of the steam.

For an optimal cleaning result the moisture content of the steam can be accurately adapted to the cleaning task or specific contamination type. Thus, for removing oil, wet steam is applied to modify the oil viscosity so that the oil will be atomized into ultra-fine droplets. These are then blown off the part surface, along with particulate contaminants, by the airflow. Drying is provided by the high-velocity airflow too.

The EcoCSteam cleaning process is commonly performed in one or two steps. This translates into shorter cleaning cycles compared to conventional methods, and productivity is enhanced as a result. But this space-saving steam cleaning technology also excels in cost efficiency. On the one hand, it involves much lower investment. On the other, it provides operating cost savings since no chemical cleaning agents are needed and no bath treatment and filtration equipment is required. Its exceptional ease of maintenance and high availability are further benefits speaking in favor of the EcoCSteam process.