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Tips for the effective cleaning of industrial parts and metal surfaces


The cleaning of components and metal is an essential feature of many industrial processes.  Though the cleaning of the likes of Sirem motors, Sferax linear bearings, Orpex couplings, Planox clutches and other vital industrial components, as well as metal surfaces often requires specialist cleaning techniques in order to protect the parts from becoming damaged.


The cleaning of important industrial components and metal surfaces can act as an introduction to protect sensitive parts and to surface finishing.




Often referred to as ‘plating’, electroplating is an effective process used to clean industrial parts. The process essentially involves the use of electric currents to decrease dissolved metal cations as a means of forming a lucid metal coating on an electrode.


As writes, electroplating is the deposition of a metal coating onto an object “by putting a negative charge on it and putting it into a solutions which contains metal salt.” As the metal salt is made up of positively charged metal ions, it is attracted to the object which is negatively charged.


Electroplating is fundamentally used to alter an object’s surface properties, for example, for the protection of corrosion, for wear and abrasion resistance and for lubricity. The process is also commonly used to to help undersized parts become thicker.


However, prior to the electroplating process, metals should be cleaned. Some of the most common ways to clean industrial parts involve hot alkaline detergent cleaning, solvent cleaning and electro-cleaning.


The water break test


Another effective process in the cleaning of metals and parts is by using the water break test technique. This quick and simple method involves a non-destructive test in order to test for hydrophobic parts.


As John’s Corner Technical Blog informs, the water break test is most commonly applied on metals which are freshly cleaned, including aluminium, steel and brass, and other metals, which in a completely clean condition are hydrophilic.


The test is centred on the idea that the metal surface is tested for cleanliness is hydrophilic and the containment is hydrophobic.


The process involves the metal surface being rinsed thoroughly and positioned vertically. Any hydrophobic contaminants on the surface such as oils will cause the water to break up, enabling it to drain quickly from the surface. By contrast, surfaces that are hydrophilic will comprise of a sheet of water that is unbroken and does not drain off.


To read more informative articles related to the care, maintenance and application of industrial components, keep referring to YB Components’ regularly updated blog.


In the meantime, if you require specialist industrial gearboxes and motors, couplings, clutches and other essential industrial components, get in contact with YB Components, machinery parts suppliers since 1993.