CO2 snow jet cleaning technology - cleaning tiny surfaces selectively in-line
Whatever the industry, whether it’s the automotive industry, metal finishing or processing industries, electronics or plastics processing industry – component cleanliness has become a quality criterion in just about any industry you can think of. With the in-line CO2 snow jet cleaning technology developed by acp – advanced clean production GmbH - the necessary degree of cleanliness can be achieved both economically and in an environmentally friendly way. Based on the motto “as clean as necessary“, highly-clean surfaces can be obtained for defined functional components areas, e.g. seal faces, without the whole component having to be cleaned. The CO2 snow jet systems and devices can be integrated both simply and flexibly into automated processes in a wide range of manufacturing environments.
Gentle cleaning using snow crystals
In contrast with cleaning methods using CO2 pellets, for example, snow jet technology uses fine snow crystals as a blasting medium. By combining mechanical, thermal and chemical properties, the non-toxic and non-combustible CO2 snow dry-cleans surfaces, removing solid and filmy contamination without leaving any residue: on impacting the surface to be cleaned, the snow crystals liquefy and sublimate. The resulting sublimation impulse causes contamination to be detached and removed. In its liquid state, carbon dioxide acts as a solvent and reliably removes filmy organic contamination such as polishing pastes and cutting oils. The low degree of hardness of the tiny crystals enables sensitive and finely-structured surfaces to be cleaned gently, giving a homogeneous result which, due to the constant quality of the cleaning medium, can be reproduced at any time.
High jet impulse for a convincing cleaning performance
The center-piece of the non-abrasive CO2 snow jet technology developed by the Esslingen-based company is the cleaning head in the form of a supersonic two-component ring nozzle. Liquid carbon dioxide expands on exiting the nozzle to become a mixture of snow and gas which forms the core jet. Compressed air is also used, creating a jacketed jet around the snow crystals and accelerating them to supersonic speed. This is what gives the snow crystals such good cleaning powers. In contrast with single-component nozzle methods, the acceleration using compressed air ensures a considerably higher cleaning performance whilst considerably reducing CO2 consumption at the same time.
Adapted to the application required
With its specific properties, this multi-purpose and easy-to-use CO2 snow jet technology simplifies cleaning processes in numerous fields of technology, for example to remove contamination after grinding processes, before and after laser processes, before bonding or fixing printed circuit boards and flex-boards and in the manufacture of MID structures. CO2 snow can also be used to activate the surfaces of plastics before bonding.
Various models of CO2 snow jet cleaning devices are available from acp. Complete systems and equipment modules can be simply integrated into fully-automated production lines or be utilized as stand-alone cleaning solutions. Depending on customer requirements, systems for cleanroom use can be realized with their own local cleanroom system (MENV) or/and a specially-adapted and patented extraction system. A portable cleaning system called JetWorker has also been developed. For example, in the plastics processing industry, this device enables molds to be cleaned in their installed state, thus reducing machine downtimes considerably.
Further information can be obtained from acp – advanced clean production GmbH, Röntgenstraße 30, 73730 Esslingen, Germany Phone +49 (0)711 687039-0, www.acp-micron.com.
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acp – advanced clean production GmbH
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Phone +49 (0)711 687039-0
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Über acp-advanced clean
The company acp – advanced clean production GmbH - was founded in Stuttgart, Germany in 1997. The company is a spin off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA. Today, acp manufactures the latest process technologies and products for portable / stationary inspection and precision cleaning tasks in the rapidly growing technology segment of contamination-sensitive and particle-sensitive manufacturing industries.
With its product area of inspection technologies, the company (now based in Esslingen) supplies systems for the direct recognition of particles and structures as well as for detecting filmy contamination on technical surfaces. The product area of cleaning technologies is mainly involved with the realization of CO2 snow-based cleaning systems.