The Evolution of Aqueous Cleaning Technology

We at AEC thought that this was an interesting article (if a little dated). Let us know what you think.

Aqueous cleaning technology is changing more rapidly than ever. Since this industry was launched by the adoption of the Montreal Accords on VOC reduction in 1992, the technology in aqueous industrial parts washers has gone through several distinct phases. This cleaning method has become a vital part of manufacturing for almost every type of product, and close attention is given to ways to improve this process in order to keep up with ever-increasing customer and regulatory demands.

Phase 1—Working Like a Solvent

The initial expectation was that water-based cleaners would work much like solvents. Chemical formulations were developed to make water mimic the solvent properties of the most popular degreasers that were being phased out as ozone depleters or exposure risks. These solutions, or water-based cleaners, were seen as inherently cheaper, because the hydrocarbon portion of the solutions was greatly reduced relative to original solvent degreasing materials. Plus, water was essentially free!

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