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Friday, May 1, 2009

Clean and Green

By Joy Finnegan, Editor

Clean and green. That’s a reference to a story in the Stephen Covey classic, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and "Clean and Green" is one of many stories in that book. In the story, Covey tasks his son with the upkeep of the family yard and drills into him that his goal is to have a yard that is clean and green. If you have never read the book, it’s a classic not only on being an effective business person, but on being an effective person/parent/partner in general, and a recommended read. The reference to green in the story is simply about the color of the grass. Today the use of "green" has come to mean so much more than the green grass growing in a yard. Over the past 10 years there has been a lot of effort to remove solvents with hydrocarbons and fluorocarbons from cleaners needed for the upkeep of aircraft. Unfortunately, some of the new environmentally safe solvents just don’t clean very well. There are few things that compare with Stoddard solvent or mineral spirits for certain jobs, according to an industry veteran. Nonetheless, we have compiled a group of products that are worth taking a look at for their cleaning ability and for their reduced impact on the environment, not to mention the health of users.

Window Brightening and Bug Smashing from Micro-Surface

Micro-Surface Finishing Products has two new products just in time for spring. WinBRIGHT, a windscreen cleaner that is safe to use on polycarbonate, acrylic, and Plexiglas windscreens, was specifically developed for aircraft transparencies, but can be used on any plastic surface on aircraft, boats, motorcycles, RVs, etc. Other applications include windscreens, convertible windows, bimini tops, aquariums, instrument panels, safety glasses and CDs. The professional strength spray removes dust, dirt, stains, smudges and fingerprints. The company claims that optical clarity improves with extended use. Clean surface with water first, then spray WinBRIGHT onto a dampened flannel cloth and polish into the surface until polish disappears. It contains no wax, solvents or ammonia and leaves no residue or build-up. The company says it is water-based and environmentally safe. WinBRIGHT comes in 8-ounce spray bottles. Micro-Surface is also offering an appearance care product engineered to quickly remove bugs without leaving a residue. The product claims to dissolve and remove bugs without scrubbing. If accurate, it would truly be time-saving product. The directions state to spray, wait and wipe. When sprayed, the company says that Bug Blaster is designed to instantly attack bug proteins and acids without dripping, messy run-off. This would be perfect for use in paint shop environments where run-off needs to be avoided. The product is safe on all exterior surfaces including: plexiglass, polycarbonate, acrylic, glass, clear coat or polyurethane paints, polished aluminum, etc. Available in 32-ounce spray bottles, one-gallon containers and five-gallon cartons. www.micro-surface.com

Super Brush Swab-its Get into Those Tricky Spots

Super Brush are suppliers of foam tipped applicators and brushes. These foam applicating swabs are tools for precision cleaning and for applying materials. Super Brush has numerous options for aviation and aerospace applications. The company has more than 3,000 styles of foam-tipped swabs, probes, and applicators available. These aviation applicators provide solutions for applying lubricants, touch-up paint, aerospace sealants, coatings, adhesives and other chemicals. These unique aircraft detailing applicators can aid in removing excess materials and in cleaning parts. The swabs are virtually lint-free, non-abrasive and resistant to most common solvents, according to Super Brush. The company can also provide single source design and fabrication for a more specific aviation or aerospace foam swab need. Super Brush can develop it, from prototype to production. Super Brush foam applicators are solvent-resistant, leave no residue as with cotton swabs, are particulate and dust-free, and are available with hydrophilic or hydrophobic tips. These swabs can be pre-soaked, used to apply oil, adhesives, silicones, can be used to clean with alcohol, MEK, etc. and contain no contaminating adhesives. www.superbrush.com

3M Extends its Novec Line of Safe, Effective, Sustainable Aerosol Cleaners

St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M is introducing its Novec Contact Cleaner Plus, the newest family member of a line of non-flammable aerosol cleaners that offer cleaning for removing oil, grease and silicones in sensitive electronics. The product is compatible with plastics and meets the new California Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) regulation for electrical cleaners. 3M Novec Contact Cleaner Plus contains 95 percent active solvent, which helps deliver more cleaning power and additional cleans per can. Novec Contact Cleaner Plus is ideal for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) along with assembly operations for electronics, aerospace, defense, transportation, utilities and mining industries. According to 3M, the product is best suited in applications where sensitive devices like connectors, printed circuit boards, electromechanical devices, scales, relays and circuit breakers need a fast-drying, non-conductive cleaner. The new cleaner is non-flammable and is the most recent addition to a line of Novec brand aerosol cleaners that are designed for light- and heavy-duty applications. Contact Cleaner Plus is formulated with 3M Novec 7200 Engineered Fluid. According to 3M, Contact Cleaner Plus contains 95 percent active solvent for higher performance and value, providing more cleans per can compared to many other commercial products with 75 percent or less active solvent. "Our newest cleaner offers a plastic-safe formula with extra cleaning power that meets the latest California Air Resources Board regulations," noted Ed DePauw, marketing manager, 3M Electronics Markets Materials. "Performance and value are important considerations for customers, as well as health, safety and environmental factors. To meet the industry’s needs, 3M employs its broad technology base of non-flammable hydrofluoroethers to balance these important factors." Novec Contact Cleaner Plus is fast drying, low odor, non-corrosive, non-conductive and requires no rinsing. All 3M Novec brand cleaning products are intended to be non-ozone depleting with low global warming potential, and low-toxicity alternatives to HCFCs, HFCs, and nPB. www.3M.com/Novec

Hotsy Introduces New Hot Water Pressure Washer with 8.2 HP Motor

Hotsy announced the latest addition to their hot water pressure washer line-up — model 895SS. The 895SS is a compact, portable hot water pressure with a powerful 8.2-hp Baldor electric motor, available in 230 volt, single phase. The Hotsy upright coil is oil-fired and maintains a constant temperature. The stainless steel coil skin provides extra durability to withstand overspray from washing. It also features pneumatic tires with inner tubes, making it easy to maneuver over pavement or rough terrain. The pressure relief valve protects the pressure washer and user from thermal expansion and a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI breaker) provides additional protection against shock hazard. The control panel includes adjustable temperature control plus heavy-duty heater and pump motor switches. The unit has unique belt-drive pump featuring with U-Seals for longer pump life, according to the company. The Hotsy pump is engineered for durability and performance, and includes a seven-year warranty on the oil end of the pump and a lifetime warranty on the brass manifold. www.Hotsy.com/products/895SS.aspx

Spray Nine’s AV-8 Water-Dilutable Cleaning Compound

AV-8 Aircraft Soap is a Type IV, heavy-duty, water-dilutable cleaning compound that qualifies to Mil-PRF-87937. Spray Nine recommends using it in place of several traditional solvents, including mineral spirits and methyl ethyl ketone. A mild pH and low VOC content reduce hazards to workers and the environment. The patented blend of surfactants and corrosion inhibitors provides a broad range of non-solvent cleaning and corrosion inhibition, Spray Nine says. AV-8 can be used on painted and unpainted aircraft alloys. The product is bio-based, meaning it is made from renewable farm crops and includes surfactants derived from sugar, corn and vegetable oil. AV-8 contains no VOCs, no ketones, no carcinogens, and no ozone depleting substances. AV-8 is low emulsifying and will not negatively impact oil/water separator systems and other pollution abatement systems. AV-8 is available in numerous sizes. www.spraynine.com

Water-Based Extreme Simple Green is Biodegradable

Extreme Simple Green is a water-based formula for cleaning aircraft, vehicles, engines, metals, plastics, alloys, and parts. It is a non-corrosive, low-foaming cleaner/de-greaser that will not cause rust or degrade elastic materials such as rubber. The company says it accomplishes this with two high-performance surfactants and a new generation grease lifter/cutter which combine to get the soil away from the aircraft surface quickly and then keep it away so that it can be cleanly rinsed off. Extreme Simple Green’s speed of grease cutting and its high capacity to hold grease, oil and soils in solution during cleaning and rinsing time are the keys to performance. This equals fast cleaning and no-redeposition, but Extreme Simple Green is also able to go into oil/water separators and have oil break from solution.

Extreme Simple Green is safe to put through pressure washing equipment, rack wash systems, dip tanks and parts washers, without any equipment damage. Simple Green says the components of Extreme Simple Green are all low-toxicity compounds and the product contains no "solvents." All of these components are biodegradable and will not accumulate in the environment and rinse-waste can be handled by standard wastewater treatment methods. Extreme Simple Green meets or exceeds current and reasonably anticipated VOC requirements. It also contains no Clean Air Act Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), nor is it a RCRA hazardous waste in and of itself when disposed. www.simplegreen.com

Flitz Polish Keeps Brightwork Shiny

Flitz Metal Polish, a concentrated cream, is used to clean, polish, deoxidize and protect most metal surfaces. The polish can remove tarnish, rust, stains, chalking, lime deposits, heat discoloration, bugs, tar, oil, tree sap, and bird droppings, among other difficult stains. This is a staple in many hangars for cleaning and polishing leading edges, aluminium and painted spinners, propellers, thrust reversers, and exhaust stacks, according to Flitz. The polish is non-abrasive, non-toxic and non-flammable. The company says their polish can also be used on Plexiglas windows and lights to remove fading. Flitz also offers "buff ball" drill attachments (see image below) for buffing and polishing surfaces. The ball fits all drills, air tools, drill presses and bench grinders. The original design is made with Italian viscose fiber, according to Flitz. It’s good for hard-to-reach areas and for textured or smooth surfaces. The ball can be machine washed and reused up to 10 times and will not shed lint, says the company. Flitz polish is available in sizes ranging from a 1.76-ounce tube to a two-pound can. www.flitz.com

Extend Paint Life with Xzilon

Xzilon 3, developed by Granitize, uses molecular adhesion to prevent parasitic drag on aircraft, extending the paint life and preventing corrosion on polished and unpolished bare metal surfaces. Application gives UV protection of painted surfaces, prolongs paint life, and prevents fading and stains from acid rain. Granitize promises ease of aircraft exterior cleaning and upkeep after Xzilon application treatment. Xzilon 3 is approved for application on Airbus, Boeing and Gulfstream aircraft. Granitize Products, Inc. www.granitize.com

Zip-Chem’s Calla 7127 for Bird Strike Clean Up

In 2006, Boeing completed the testing of a Zip-Chem product, Calla 7127, for D6-17487 materials compatibility. Boeing found Calla 7127 to be compatible with the airplane aluminum exterior when the product is in a diluted form, 3.5 ounces per 4.5 gallons of water (0.73 ounces per gallon). Zip-Chem Products is marketing the product. When cleaning the external aircraft surfaces to remove bird strike residue, cleansing agents and disinfectants qualified to the ref/B/document are recommended. However, Boeing does not test any product for substance efficacy against disease agents. Boeing recommends airline operators contact the World Health Organization (WHO), product manufacturers, government agencies or local health agencies for product efficacy. The WHO website (www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/) recommends the use of Virkon, a material that corrodes aluminum. Boeing strongly recommends that operators not use this product. Calla 7127 has been approved for use on CFM/Snecma engines when a bird strike has occurred or when there is suspicion of engine parts contamination. Calla 7127 can be used by local spray or local application with a cloth. The technical data sheet and label for Calla 7127 contain more information about use. A specific procedure will be soon introduced in the AMM and CFM ESM. According to Zip-Chem, Calla 7127 is formulated to disinfect hard, non-porous, inanimate, environmental surfaces such as floors, walls, metal surfaces, stainless steel surfaces, glazed porcelain, glazed ceramic tile, plastic surfaces, bathrooms, shower stalls, bathtubs, cabinets, tables, chairs, countertops, appliances and telephones. It is available in one-gallon and five-gallon pails, 55-gallon drums, 32-ounce spray bottles with pre-metered disinfectant concentrate.

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