DOE solvent handbook information sheet Page: 2 of 6
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DOE/DOD Solvent Utilization Handbook3
Solvents and cleaners are used in the Department of Defense (DOD) and the
Department of Energy-Defense Program (DOE-DP) maintenance facilities for removing
wax, grease, oil, carbon, machining fluids, solder fluxes, mold releases, and
other contaminants before repairing or electroplating parts. Private industry
also uses cleaners and degreasers for surface preparation of various metals.
Growing environmental and worker safety concerns have brought attention to these
solvents and cleaners, most of which are classified as toxic. Tightening
government regulations have already excluded the use of some chemicals, and
restrict the use of various halogenated hydrocarbons because of their
atmospheric-ozone depleting effects, as well as their cancer-related risks.
As a result, a program was established to develop an efficient, easily
accessible, electronic solvent utilization handbook. This is being accomplished
by: a) identifying solvents (alternatives) that are not currently restricted by
government regulations for use at DOE-DP facilities, DOD facilities, and private
industry, b) evaluating their cleaning performance, c) evaluating their
corrosivity, d) evaluating their air emissions, e) evaluating the possibility of
recycling or recovering all or portions of the alternative degreasers, f) testing
substitute solvents compatibility with non-metallic materials, g) inputting all
of the data gathered (including previous biodegradability information) into a
database, and h) developing a methodology for efficient, widespread access to the
data base information system.
The first step was to screen candidate substitutes. Testing was conducted only
on solvents which met the following criteria: 1) have a minimum flash point of
200 F, 2) contain no hazardous components, and 3) contain no aromatics or
halogenated compounds. Samples of the eligible, alternative solvents were
requested for subsequent evaluations. The first studies were conducted to
determine the cleaning performance capabilities of the alternative solvents.
These cleaning performance tests were conducted with 16 contaminants. The
products that removed 95% or more of the contaminant in 8 or more cases during
a 30 minute test, were subjected to corrosion tests.
Next, immersion corrosion tests were conducted on 26 metal alloys, including
copper CDA101 with a Sn/Pb solder coating. The metal alloys chosen for testing
are representative of the alloys most frequently used in DOE-DP, nuclear weapons
complexes, DOD weapons refurbishment facilities, and private industry. The
methods for the corrosion testing were taken from the American Society of Testing
and Materials (ASTM) procedure F4830-87. The corrosion rates were calculated
using ASTM G31. The corrosion limits were taken from MIL-C-87937, which lists
five of the metals included in the Solvent Utilization Handbook subtask testing.
The alternatives passed the corrosion test if they passed for these five metals
(viewed by MIL-C-87937 as the worst-case scenario), regardless of the effect on
other metals tested.
Work supported by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Technology
Development, under DOE Idaho Field Office, Contract DE-AC07-76ID01570.
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Chavez, A.A. DOE solvent handbook information sheet, report, January 1, 1992; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1069270/m1/2/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.