Dealing with Paraffinic Oil

Metal cleaning and fabricating experts often run into paraffinic material in oils and soil that find their way into our plating line. Often soak and electro cleaners cannot simply remove this type of soil. So it is easy to wonder why parts manufacturers would use this stuff, since it seems like such a problematic material from our point of view. Paraffinic oil can greatly reduce the friction and heat that comes with the forming and drawing of steel. This lowers the amount of wear and tear on the machines and die blocks, keeping the part manufacturer happy. Many types of mineral oils contain paraffinic material, meaning a manufacturer may be using paraffinic oil without realizing. For all the negatives we deal with in plating, paraffin oil does an excellent job as a lubricant for machining.

To make the most of our situation, we must learn to work around the need for paraffinic oil in manufacturing. But how can we accomplish this without veering to far from our working process?

Using Paraffinic Oil

The first, and most simple, is to raise the temperature to well above 200 F, often just about boiling the soak cleaner. This should place the temperature of your soak cleaner above the melting point of the paraffin, allowing it to dissolve into the bath. There are some issues with this approach- namely getting and keeping your bath that hot and staying safe around a potential boiling hot bath. Increasing the temperature of a bath is a major difficulty. If you are not prepared with several immersion heaters or water jacket tank, it may prove impossible; not to mention the issue of vapors and fumes that will be released from a bath that is run that hot.

The second method, which involves talking with your sales rep, is obtaining a soak cleaner specifically designed for cleaning paraffinic oils. One such cleaner is F 1214 I. This soak cleaner is designed to clean paraffinic material off of parts at a similar temperature and concentration of other soak cleaners. I would recommend running this product around 160 F and between 10-20%. The F 1214 I can be used equally well in a rack or barrel line.

The major advantage to this method of dealing with paraffinic residue is that you do not need to adjust the temperature of your bath. There is no added cost of heating up the bath 20-30 F higher than you currently do. The recommended temperature is 40 F below the one needed to clean paraffinic oil. Doing so reduces the risk of injury to yourself or employees by a great deal. Talk with your sales representative to determine if this or another soak cleaner is best for you.