Solvent safety is of utmost importance when maintaining bearings. This document will provide crucial ‘Solvent Safety Tips’ intended to ensure your maintenance procedures are both effective and safe. We aim to guide you through the best practices to protect both your equipment and your personnel.
“Safety Practices for Using Solvents in Bearing Maintenance”
The cleaning and re-greasing of bearings are integral components of routine maintenance, repair, and overhaul operations across various industries. Bearings that have been removed often harbor remnants of used grease, debris, scales, and other foreign residues, necessitating a thorough cleaning process for inspection before applying fresh grease for reuse. Inadequate cleaning procedures can adversely affect performance and reduce the overall lifespan of the bearings. Manufacturers offer explicit instructions for the dismounting and cleaning processes, tailored to the specific type and size of bearings.
Machine and Manual Cleaning
Manufacturers typically suggest an oil bath or rinse tank for bearing cleaning; however, in certain industries, maintenance teams opt for water-based cleaners in component cleaning machines. This is particularly prevalent in sectors like Railways, where a large quantity of bearings requires regular cleaning. Water-based emulsions, such as BECHEM’s Beruclean 3843, Beruclean 113 EMF, and Beruclean 111 EHF, are employed in high-pressure cleaning systems, providing effective results in such setups. The cleaned bearings are then thoroughly dried using hot air or vacuum methods.
In heavy industries like steel and metal processing, which utilize large, heavy-duty bearings, an alternative approach involves soaking used bearings in rinse tanks or manually spraying and rinsing them with a cleaning agent. Operators subsequently remove residues by brushing off the bearings. While traditional recommendations include light oil, kerosene, or Isopropyl alcohol-based degreasers, the industry practice often involves supplying diesel, mineral turpentine oil (MTO), and kerosene as readily available cleaning agents to maintenance teams.
Are cleaning agents safe?
While the cleaning efficacy of diesel is commendable, the low flash point and prolonged exposure of personnel to the noxious diesel odor make the work environment susceptible. In addition to well-known symptoms such as skin and eye irritation, continuous exposure to diesel without proper safety gear can impact the central nervous system, immune system, and hormonal systems in adults.
Prolonged exposure to kerosene is recognized to cause irritation to the eyes and skin in humans. Research indicates that chronic exposure to kerosene can lead to drowsiness, irritability, restlessness, and even convulsions. The flash point of kerosene varies between 23°C to 61°C.
Due to their low flash points and associated safety concerns, authorities in many countries prohibit and discourage industries from using diesel and kerosene for cleaning purposes.
Even more hazardous is the utilization of MTO as a cleaning agent. The health risks and environmental impact linked to this traditional cleaning agent are well documented. Fortunately, with increased awareness, the use of MTO has diminished within the industry. The disposal of used cleaning agents is also a regulated factor controlled by authorities and is expensive to manage.
Beruclean Eco: High performance cleaner, biodegradable and safe
Beruclean Eco stands out as a high-performance cleaner designed for the effective degreasing and cleaning of industrial bearings and machinery components. It holds NSF H1 certification, making it safe for incidental contact with food-grade surfaces. Additionally, Beruclean Eco is environmentally friendly, boasting biodegradability with a 70% degradation rate after 28 days according to OECD 301 F standards.
In comparison to diesel, which has a low flash point of 32°C, Beruclean Eco offers a higher flash point of 70°C, significantly reducing the risk of accidental fires. This colorless cleaning liquid excels at removing various oil and grease contaminations, as well as waxes and residues commonly found in used bearings and parts. Its versatility extends to manual cleaning processes, flood and immersion baths, and ultrasonic cleaning machines.
With a lower evaporation rate, Beruclean Eco exhibits greater stability than diesel, leading to a reduced overall consumption rate. Its proven cleaning performance spans across diverse industries, including Steel, Automotive Components, and Food & Pharma, making it a reliable choice for bearing and parts cleaning.
Why Beruclean Eco
- Ensures an exceptional cleaning outcome by effectively eliminating stubborn residues, contaminants, and used grease from bearings and components.
- Offers temporary rust protection for enhanced equipment longevity.
- Features a low evaporation rate, resulting in reduced cleaner consumption compared to diesel, kerosene, and MTO.
- Decreases cleaning costs per component when utilized in immersion baths or cleaning machines such as ultrasonic appliances and atomizers.
- Operator-friendly with an odorless composition, providing a pleasant and safe work environment unlike traditional cleaning agents.
- Easily biodegradable, contributing to lower disposal costs.
In conclusion, adhering to solvent safety tips is crucial when maintaining bearings, and shifting to safer, eco-friendly alternatives like Beruclean Eco is a step in the right direction. Aside from delivering exceptional cleaning results, Beruclean Eco ensures operator safety and contributes to a sustainable environment. This underscores its superiority over traditional cleaning agents, positioning it as the ideal choice in bearing maintenance protocols.