Operating Conditions

The operating conditions for applying an alkaline cleaner by spray are very different from those used for immersion cleaning. The following table shows typical operating conditions for spray and immersion cleaners.

Operating condition

Immersion cleaners

Spray cleaners


7.5-90 g/L (1-12 oz/gal)

1.9-22.5 g/L (0.25-3 oz/gal)

Application temperature

50-100 "C (122-212 "F)

40-71 °C (140-160 °F)

Processing time

1-5 min

0.5-3 min

Spray pressure

35-210 kPa (5-30 psi)

Considerable progress has been made in recent years to lower the operating temperature of alkaline cleaners. Improved nonionic surfactants, especially for spray-applied cleaners, have allowed for a reduction in cleaner temperature of 15 °C (25 °F) or more without a loss in cleaning performance. A considerable cost savings results from this decrease in energy demand. For example, the cost of heating a solution by steam to 88 °C (190 °F) is about three times that of heating to 49 °C (120 °F). Research in this area is being directed at further reducing the temperature necessary to provide top-quality cleaning of metal surfaces in both spray and immersion applications.

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