TOOLING: New Equipment & Chemicals for Mold & Parts Cleaning

Laser and ultrasonic cleaning systems and spray-on mold cleaners.

Three companies recently introduced equipment and chemicals for cleaning molds and plastic parts:

• Laser specialist Fonon Corp., Orlando Fla., brought out the Laser Photonics CleanTech line of laser cleaning systems in both stationary and portable models. Lasers quickly and selectively remove rust, paint, grease, etc. from metal parts without abrasion or chemicals (top image). Pulsed infrared laser action affects only a few microns at the surface of the part; once the rust or surface contamination is vaporized by the laser, the underlying metal reflects the laser IR light harmlessly. No debris is left behind. If necessary, the laser can be focused on a small spot.

Fonon also introduced Flexion technology, whereby the workpiece is placed on an x-y motion-control stage for thorough cleaning of 3D surfaces.

Omegasonics, Simi Valley, Calif., a maker of ultrasonic cleaning systems for metal and plastic parts, has two new products. One is a pneumatic lift unit to help lift large, heavy metal molds or parts in and out of the cleaning tank. Power-Lift 4560 is a cleaning system with a 120-gal tank (38 x 29 x 19 in.) and lifting device (bottom image).

Second is Omegasonics’ new Omega-Supreme Soap 40, an ultrasonic cleaning detergent that is said to remove oils, light grease, dirt, carbon, etc. from metals and plastics. It is said to be safe for use with a wide variety of metals and plastics.

IMS Company, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, offers two new spray-on cleaners for injection molds. Both are low enough in toxicity to avoid labeling under California’s Proposition 65 program. IMS C-Foam foaming citrus mold cleaner creates a drip-resistant foam that remains in place for minutes while it dissolves grease and contaminants. The biodegradable, citrus-based foam is not flammable and is suited to use where fast evaporation is not required.

Where fast evaporation is desired, new IMS LT-65 is a low-VOC spray that meets California standards. It provides very good and fast cleaning ability where a flammability hazard can be managed.