Parts Washers: The Need and the History
The washing of parts is now most prevalent in the manufacturing industry, but that is not where it began. Originally parts washers were designed as a substitute for the unsatisfactory soak tanks that the automotive industry used to clean car parts when they took them apart to fix them. The soak tank was simply a tank in which they would place the parts for hours, letting a mixture of detergent and water chip away at the built up car grease. This method never fully worked, which is why in the 1970’s they came up with a very basic model of our modern day parts washer.
As time has passed the manufacturers of parts cleaning equipment have learned quite a bit. Gasoline, kerosene and other similar substances were the first solvents used to clean the parts, but these liquids were traded in for chlorinated solvents later on. The chemical makeup of chlorinated solvents worked well at dispelling any gunk or debris from products needing to be power cleaned, but was banned from use in the 1980’s because of health and environmental concerns. The development of hydraulics within the parts washer context is what really made a difference, since it was powerful enough to only need light cleaning solvent and water while still leaving parts completely cleaned and sanitized.
Recent developments in parts washers are less about efficiency and more about saving energy and creating equipment that is environmentally friendly. All in all, the miscellaneous models of parts washers work extraordinarily well. However, an industry always needs to be moving forward with innovation, hence the development of the ultrasonic parts washer. This new model utilizes ultrasonic waves within water where parts needing to be clean reside; when the sound waves are activated, they create microscopic bubbles all around the parts that then implode. The imploding bubbles clean the parts as thoroughly as a high powered spray washer or rotary washers turning could, but with less energy. Such a development is the next chapter in the parts washers history.