The removal of forming and pressing oils from components prior to further processing, particularly vacuum heat treatment and brazing, is an essential manufacturing step.
This was historically achieved using trichlorethane and CFC based solvents. However the phasing out of these ozone depleting and hazardous solvents has created a world-wide need for alternative vacuum deoiling processes.
Consarc, an Inductotherm Group company, now offers an environmentally-friendly process for the removal of oils and lubricants from components without use of trichloroethylene and CFC-based solvents. Consarc's vacuum deoiling equipment requires no wastewater treatment and the oil removed can be recycled.
Consarc have developed a range of thermal vacuum deoiling furnaces to remove oils by volatilisation at low pressure and temperature.
Unlike aqueous cleaning processes, vacuum deoiling does not have any requirements for waste water treatment. Furthermore, oil removed from the components can be recycled.
For removal of the oil, furnaces are fitted with a specially designed vacuum pumping system that produces the vacuum levels required for volatilisation of the oils.
The vacuum system is also configured to operate within the environment generated as the oil is pumped out of the chamber and discharged at the pump exhaust for collection.
In operation, the internal walls of the vacuum deoiling furnace are maintained in a hot condition to prevent condensation of oil vapours within the furnace.
For the manufacture of vacuum brazed aluminium heat exchangers, vacuum deoiling furnaces can be integrated with new or existing brazing furnaces as a combined production operation.
The benefits of vacuum deoiling can also be incorporated into other areas where thermal processing is required. e.g. the combined deoiling and tempering of oil quenched steels, giving an oxide and oil free finish to the components in one step.
Applications for vacuum deoiling include:
- automotive aluminium heat exchangers
- aerospace turbine components
- oil quenched steels
- precision machined parts
- thermal processing/tempering.