The Science Lab
Are You Prepared for the Possible Ban on These Vapor Degreasing Solvents?
In 2018, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published documents of their findings which identified 10 chemicals to undergo risk evaluation. Out of those 10 chemicals, 4 were commonly used vapor degreasing solvents: Trichloroethylene (TCE), Perchloroethylene (PERC), 1 Bromopropane (nPB), and Methylene Chloride (MC).
In 2020, the EPA published a Chemical Risk Evaluation for each of these solvents that evaluated risks and stated that the use of these solvents could pose unreasonable risks to human health.
Although the organization has not published any official updated information for 2022, it has been reported that the EPA TSCA committee is considering extremely low exposure limits for certain solvents: n-propyl bromide (nPB, 1-bromopropane) 0.05 ppm, perchloroethylene (PCE, Perc) 0.2 ppm, trichloroethylene (TCE) 0.001 ppm, methylene chloride (MC, dichloromethane)1 ppm (potential ban on vapor degreasing). This information being discussed this year is unofficial and has yet to be confirmed.
Until the time comes, there are some important factors to consider regarding the use of these particular solvents. Minnesota and New York have already placed bans on TCE, while Federal and State regulators are enacting new environmental compliance laws. Check your degreasing operations to verify any solvents being used for vapor degreasing under the product name, SDS, or CAS number are not on this list.
How to Get Prepared
While all of this information may seem daunting, there are certain steps that can be taken to get ahead of these changes.
- Switch to a new environmentally preferred solvent
- Convert to an aqueous process
- Convert to a vacuum degreasing process
As the leader in environmentally friendly chemistries, KYZEN offers alternatives needed to help you through this expected change in regulations. For additional information on alternative options to replace nPB, view here. For alternatives to replace TCE, view here. Also, please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. KYZEN is happy to help!
The Benefits of Vacuum Degreasing
With the many benefits that come with vacuum degreasing, it’s no surprise that its popularity is growing in the metal finishing industry and trusted in major industries such as Aerospace, Medical, and Automotive worldwide.
Vacuum degreasing offers excellent cleaning for polar and non-polar soils, an ultra-low VOC emission process, rust prevention and protection, and much more. This is a fascinating process that incorporates a highly engineered system with a single solvent cleaner to provide a reliable precision cleaning process with many sought-after benefits. It is also a waterless process, meaning no water rinse stages are required nor treatment/disposal of water.
These systems are designed to process all types of metals in the same machine. For example, you could have a process set up for aluminum that doesn’t need a CP and then another process for steel parts that requires a CP. This could be very beneficial if both processes are needed. All parts could be processed in the same machine
KYZEN offers solvents and other products for vacuum degreasers. METALNOX M6386, a solvent that effectively removes non-polar and polar contaminants, is a modified alcohol solvent blend designed for use in parts cleaning automated vacuum degreasing machines. It is highly effective on paraffinic and water-based oils, cutting fluids and milling fluids commonly used to forge and cast metal hardware, fasteners, and components.
METALNOX M6381, solvent for removal of non-polar contaminants, is a hydrocarbon solvent cleaner formulated for use in parts cleaning automated vacuum degreasing machines and is commonly used to clean parts supplied to the automotive, aerospace, and other high-tech industries.
Vacuum degreasers work with various applications and contaminants such as cutting oils, coolants, and laser dust/fines. KYZEN offers auxiliary products that are beneficial to this process such as KYZEN CP86, KYZEN Booster 81, KYZEN Booster 86, and KYZEN CP81.
For more information on vacuum degreasing and additional services offered by KYZEN to benefit your process, view this informational brochure as well as a Tech 2 Tech presentation given by KYZEN’s own, Chelsea Jewell.