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The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) has developed and tested a patent-pending cleaner formulation for removing hydraulic fluids from composite materials effectively and safely. The product is also highly effective as a general cleaner and solvent.
Hydraulic fluid leaks present challenges to aerospace operations because repairs to composites cannot be made until all hydraulic fluid contamination is removed. Current chemical cleaners are either hazardous and require a controlled environment to protect workers (hexane), or they are not very effective at removing hydraulic fluid (methyl isobutyl ketone, MIBK). Other solutions are very expensive and/or time consuming.
The NAWCAD solution does not contain hazardous air pollutants (HAP), is effective on grease and oil, does not contain ozone-depleting substances, is non-toxic, compatible with metals and non-metals, and is safe to use. The cleaner formulation meets all elements of the rigorous MIL-PRF-32295 specification except the low-VOC requirement; however, in contrast to low-VOC products, the NAWCAD cleaner is very cost-competitive, dries within a reasonable period of time, and does not leave residue contamination. Additional features include a flash point exceeding 140 degrees F (exceeds NFPA 30 Class III limit) and minimal odor.
- Effective: Outperforms industry standards in several cleaning categories and dries residue free; especially effective as a hydraulic fluid cleaner and for use on composite materials
- Safe: No-HAP formulation contains no ozone-depleting substances and does not require special worker protection equipment for use
- Competitive: Made from inexpensive, readily available materials; appropriate for use as a solvent/cleaner against a variety of soils on metals and non-metals
- US patent 8,801,866
- Potential for collaboration on development and field testing with NAWCAD researchers