What are Chlorinated Solvents?
Within a wide variety of industries, the needs for specific chemical compounds are called upon for a myriad of different applications. However, alongside the need for these compounds also comes the need for those within industry to understand fully the uses of these chemicals, their benefits and the dangers which can come from wrongful handling.
The most commonly used chlorinated solvents used within metalworking industries include methylene chloride, perchlorothylene and trichloroethylene, with additional chlorinated products such as carbon tetrachloride also widely utilized. These solvents are especially useful within a myriad of industry applications as they are capable of dissolving a wide range of organic substances. They also possess characteristics such as low flammability, inertness to chemical reactivity; and a moderate to rapid rate of evaporation. It is also widely believed that specific compounds of chlorinated solvents do not possess any adverse side effects to individuals who are exposed to vapour concentrations that adhere to the recommended guidelines. Therefore, it is believed that the use of these solvents within many industries, if used correctly, will not cause any great harm to workers.
Methylene chloride, or MEC, is perceived to be one of the most powerful and versatile solvents within its family, possessing a higher rate or solvency in comparison to other compounds. It also possesses the lowest boiling point at 39.8C and the lowest vapour density of all chlorinated solvents. In addition, Methylene chloride is virtually non-flammable and boasts no flash point. Due to these characteristics, this particular chlorinated solvent is extremely effective for both cold cleaning and the degreasing of metal components. The solvent is able to remove grease, oil and strong paint residues from surfaces. Due to its ease within these specific applications, MEC is widely utilized within the metal industries and has aided metal manufacturers in increasing their recycling efforts.
As methylene does not contribute to smog formation, it has not been classified as a volatile organic compound, or VOC and further studies show that as yet, there is nothing to show that it will pose a threat to the environment. This statement comes as a direct result of studies which identify that the chemical biodegrades under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Therefore, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that it will present within animal/environment tissues. Furthermore, studies on individuals’ shows that so long as protocol is followed in using this particular chlorinated solvent, the health profile of an individual will remain satisfactory and without cause for concern.
Perchloroethylene, or PCE is a chlorinated solvent that is widely used within a number of cleaning applications. Beneficial for use within oils, waxes and greases; it is compatible for use with most plastics and rubbers. As it possesses a moderately high boiling point of 120C, it is of value when utilized in vapour degreasing products that contain high melting wax. In addition, the solvent’s resistance to degradation when introduced to water also makes it highly useful for wet applications. It is also highly believed that the use of PCE within industries will not pose a health threat, so long as its recommended guidelines and usage recommendations are adhered to. Also renowned for its cleaning ability is Trichloroethylene, or TCE. This chlorinated solvent holds the characteristics of being easily recyclable and non-corrosive and is highly stable when in the presence of commonly used chemical stabilizers.
There may always be the worry of how both those who work within industry and our environment may be affection by utilizing these compounds. However, one way in which we can guarantee our safety and the correct use of these chlorinated solvents is by entrusting in a reputable and professional supplier. Solventis is renowned for importing a wide range of high quality solvents from world class international suppliers into Europe. By entrusting in Solventis, you can guarantee that their expert and in-depth knowledge into both the market and required products will ensure that given both competitive prices and peace of mind in terms of the quality and safety regarding your chlorinated solvents needs.