Selection Factors

In any acid cleaning operation, etching usually occurs. In many instances, this light etching is advantageous for final finishing operations. However, if etching is not permissible, some other cleaning process should be used.

Limitations of acid cleaning include:

• Inability to remove heavy deposits of oil or grease without large additions of expensive material such as surfactants and detergents

• Attack on the metal to some degree, even when inhibitors are used

• Requirement of acid-resistant equipment

If parts are soiled with heavy deposits of oil or grease, as well as rust, preliminary alkaline cleaning preceding acid cleaning is most often a necessity. Multiple rinses should be used to prevent carryover of alkali.

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