Industrial Cleaning Processes
Industrial cleaning processes often require the use of special cleaners to remove dirt, grease, and other contaminants from surfaces.
ESTI CHEM has a long-time experience in the field of industrial cleaners, and we supply a broad range of single-components, optimized surfactant packages, hydrotropes, and silicone oil-free defoamers to the formulators of industrial cleaners.
Traditional solvents, such as hydrocarbon-based ones, may pose health and environmental risks due to their toxicity, flammability, and potential for air pollution. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in finding safer alternatives that provide effective cleaning while minimizing these hazards.
ESTISOL® fatty acid esters have emerged as a promising solution, offering an improved safety profile and high cleaning power. ESTISOL® fatty acid esters are derived from fatty acids, which are the building blocks of fats and oils.
ESTISOL® ester solvents possess several characteristics that make them attractive as alternatives to hydrocarbon solvents:
- Low toxicity: The LD50 value of most ESTISOL® solvents is higher than 2000 mg/kg.
- Good biodegradability: ESTISOL® esters are readily biodegradable, >60%/28 days according to OECD guidelines.
- Low volatility: The majority of the ESTISOL® esters have a vapor pressure <0.01 kPa/20°C, and they are classified as non-VOCs.
- Excellent solvent properties: ESTISOL® esters exhibit good solvency power with Kauri Butanol values in the range from 30 to >250 allowing them to effectively dissolve and remove various types of contaminants, including oils, greases, and dirt. Cleaning agents can be tailored to specific cleaning applications by selecting the appropriate ESTISOL® ester, combinations of ESTISOL® esters, or combinations of ESTISOL® esters with other solvents.
Typical ESTISOL® solvents for application in industrial cleaners are:
- ESTISOL 190 and ESTISOL 242 for degreasing of oily and greasy residues.
- ESTISOL 312 for sensitive surfaces.
- ESTISOL 130, ESTISOL 135, ESTISOL 150, and ESTISOL 165 for removal of polymer residues, inks, paints, coatings, and adhesives.
The non-VOC nature of most of the ESTISOL® esters makes it a natural choice combining ESTISOL® esters with surfactants. By combination with ESTISURF® surfactants, it allows the formulation of water-washable cleaning agents with several advantages:
- Enhanced dispersibility: ESTISURF® surfactants facilitate the formation of micelles or emulsion structures, which disperse the ESTISOL® esters in water. This dispersion helps to evenly distribute the cleaning agent across the surface, enhancing its cleaning efficacy.
- Emulsification of contaminants: ESTISURF® surfactants aid in the emulsification of contaminants, such as oils and greases, into fine droplets or micelles. These small droplets are more easily suspended in the cleaning solution and can be rinsed away effectively with water.
- Reduced residue and streaking: Water-washable cleaning agents based on ESTISOL®/ESTISURF® combinations minimize the risk of leaving residues or streaks on cleaned surfaces. The combined action of the components ensures the removal of contaminants and the effective rinsing away of the cleaning solution.
The most common ESTISURF® grades for application in industrial cleaners in combination with ESTISOL® esters are:
- ESTISURF 970, ESTISURF CO 40, ESTISURF M27 for ESTISOL®-based cleaners.
- ESTISURF M29 and ESTISURF M23 for cleaners based on ESTISOL® & high-boiling hydrocarbons.
ESTI CHEM provides optimized ESTISURF® microemulsion packages as alternative to the ESTISOL®/ESTISURF® combination products. This is a part of ESTI CHEM core technology developed during the recent 20 years.
The ESTISURF® microemulsion packages creates thermodynamically stable, transparent, or translucent dispersions of ESTISOL® solvents in water. Microemulsions based on ESTISOL® esters offer several benefits for industrial cleaning applications:
- Improved cleaning efficiency: Microemulsions provide excellent solubilization and dispersing properties, enabling the removal of a wide range of contaminants. The small droplet size of the dispersed phase enhances the contact area between the cleaning agent and the surface, improving cleaning efficiency.
- Stability and long shelf life: ESTISURF® based microemulsions are typically long-time stable. This stability ensures consistent cleaning performance and extends the product's shelf life.
We recommend looking at ESTISURF MF20 MB, a high-performance combination of ESTISOL® and selected ESTISURF® bringing a unique cleaning performance from the emulsified solvent (ESTISOL®) and the oil & water-soluble surfactants (ESTISURF®).
For some industrial cleaning jobs, an alkaline cleaner is the only thing that works! ESTI CHEM offers several optimized ESTISURF® surfactant packages, which are easy to use in alkaline cleaners, the formulation development is quick, and the cleaning result is top:
- ESTISURF LF 181: this product is applied in high-alkaline cleaners with a controlled foam profile. ESTISURF LF 181 is the high-performance and cost-efficient surfactant choice for high-alkaline cleaners for truck wash, hard surface cleaning and similar applications.
- ESTISURF M43-E: ESTISURF M43-E is a medium foaming surfactant package for application in acidic, alkaline, and neutral pH cleaners & degreasers. ESTISURF M43-E is recommended for eco-label formulations.
- ESTISURF MF21-WW: This product has one special application in the industrial cleaning market: removal of rubber marks from tires on industrial floors. ESTISURF MF21-WW is formulated with sequestering agents, alkaline builders to form a cleaning concentrate, which can be diluted with water before use.
DEFOAMERs are applied in industrial cleaner concentrates or as tank-side additive. ESTI CHEM defoamers are silicone oil-free and can be flushed away leaving to residues on the surface.
The DEFOAMERs have a unique combination of efficiency and persistency, are easy to dose and formulate and do not lead to problems in subsequent surface finishing such as painting. Typical DEFOAMER grades applied in industrial cleaners are:
- DEFOAMER 45-N, DEFOAMER 100 FI, DEFOAMER 700, DEFOAMER 1000 in cleaning agents with a pH range 5-11.
- DEFOAMER PE 95 and DEFOAMER M 60 for application at pH value outside the span mentioned above.