With its EcoCSteam system, Dürr Ecoclean has developed a new eco-friendly cleaning technology that reliably removes both particulate and film-type contamination from parts and surfaces of diverse materials without any use of chemicals. As introduced, the performance of this innovative steam cleaning method is based on the use of saturated steam plus an airflow accelerated to a high velocity. The cleaning process ensures a rapid and reliable removal of particulate and film-type contaminants, such as oils, grease, emulsions, mould lubricants, chips, particles, dust and fingerprints, from any material without the use of detergents.
According to the Dürr Ecoclean, a key factor contributing to the effectiveness of the EcoCSteam process is the new steam generation method developed by the company in cooperation with experts in this field. It is based on the principle of “flow-through” water heating whereby pressurized water is passed through a piping system comprising heater coils. Depending on the cleaning task, the water is thus heated to a temperature between 135 and 280°C. Its conversion to steam takes place before the water is pumped from the piping to the cleaning nozzle. Unlike conventional boiler systems, the flow-through steam generating method ensures that steam is made available in constant amounts and quality, thus bringing unvarying steam properties to the cleaning task.
The water and steam flow rates as well as heating power can be accurately adapted to the cleaning application via the EcoCSteam system’s programmable logic controller (PLC) which also monitors and controls these parameters permanently. The system’s outstanding cleaning performance is owing to the interaction of saturated steam with a high-velocity airflow. As the steam jet exits the nozzle, it is enshrouded all around by heated air accelerated to a very high velocity and thus focused directly onto the surface to be cleaned. Any intermixing between the two media is prevented by the high flow velocity of the air and the properties of the steam.
For an optimum cleaning result the moisture content of the steam can be accurately adapted to the cleaning task or specific contamination type. Thus, for removing oil, wet steam is applied to modify the oil viscosity so that the oil will be atomized into ultra-fine droplets. These are then blown off the part surface, along with particulate contaminants, by the airflow.
Drying is provided by the high-velocity airflow as well. In addition, Dürr Ecoclean notes that when compared to conventional solutions, EcoCSteam provides higher cleaning quality in less cycle time. This has been demonstrated in diverse applications both in and outside of the automotive industry. Moreover, the process provides optimum results when it comes to cleaning not only mechanical items, but also metal and plastic parts intended to be subsequently painted or coated, the company adds.