High Purity Cleaning: An Essential Process For Risk Management
Appropriate and intentional high purity cleaning keeps industrial facilities and even high-volume, volatile, continuous manufacturing systems running better, longer.
That’s because the biggest threats to operation in industrial facilities are mechanical breakdown, mandatory shutdowns for system maintenance, and forced orders of improvement from regulatory boards . High purity cleaning services for industrial systems serve to minimize the risk of all three; high-quality high purity cleaning protocols (when provided by an experienced and well-qualified industrial cleaning and testing professional) not only extend the useful life of system components, but also reduce the amount of time systems need to be taken offline for maintenance and minimize the risk of shutdown due to noncompliance with regulatory standards.
Find out more about the cleaning services for industrial systems offered by Precision Fabrication & Cleaning, or keep reading to learn about high purity cleaning so you can decide whether it is the best option for your business.
What Is High Purity Cleaning?
High purity cleaning, regardless of the specific application, is a cleaning service for industrial systems that serves to remove potentially hazardous particulate matter/contaminants from volatile and high-risk equipment.
There are several different solvents and industrial cleaning and testing procedures commonly used in high purity cleaning services, the most appropriate of which depends on the specific industry, equipment, system application, and regulatory standards involved. Nevertheless, all high purity cleaning protocols promising to provide cleaning services for industrial systems aim to reduce/remove targeted system contaminants without depositing chemical, ionic, or hydrocarbon residues, biologically active macromolecules, or above-acceptable levels of contaminant remnants . Moreover, these types of high purity cleaning protocols also act to protect components from potential useful-life-shortening damage, over-pressurization, or moisture accumulation.
Like all industrial cleaning and testing services, working with a qualified, experienced high purity cleaning specialist is a critical factor for arranging successful high purity cleaning services.
Meaningful Distinctions Between Different Types Of High Purity Cleaning Services
Depending on the industry, system application, and regulatory bodies involved, cleaning services for industrial systems may call for either cleaning or specifically sanitizing equipment. The meaningful distinctions between those high purity cleaning activities relate to the specific system contaminants targeted by industrial cleaning and testing services. The differences between targeted system contaminants are as follows:
- Cleaning: reducing to acceptable levels (or eliminating) soil and organic matter build-up, scale, abrasive contaminants, grease, and chemical (byproduct, oxidation- or corrosion-related) accumulations that occur during normal system operation .
- Sanitizing: reducing to acceptable levels (or eliminating) vegetative cells of pathogens, sporforming or non-sporforming bacteria, and other undesirable microorganisms .
A note about “ultra” high purity cleaning services for industrial systems: different industrial cleaning and testing service providers use language like “ultra” high purity cleaning differently. Because there is no standardized distinction between “ultra” and “regular” high purity cleaning services for industrial systems, it is important that clients focus on identifying service providers based on their ability to create a custom high purity cleaning protocol that matches the solvent and procedure to the contaminant and system, respectively. Despite its implications, the presence of language like “ultra” does not necessarily guarantee superior high purity cleaning results.
Real-Life Applications Of High Purity Cleaning Services For Industrial Systems
All companies aim to maintain safe, high-functioning equipment while minimizing system failure and downtime. Implementing appropriate cleaning protocols and arranging appropriate cleaning services for industrial systems is almost always the most cost-effective way to accomplish these goals .
Moreover, manufacturing and processing facilities in nearly every industry, as well as pipelines, and gas, oxygen, and water systems make use of valves and fittings that are susceptible to contaminant and residue build up . It is unsurprising, then, that high purity cleaning services for industrial systems are popular pre-assembly, pre-inspection, and regular maintenance cleaning services for industrial systems that have valves, regulators, pipes, ducts and chutes, or tanks. High purity cleaning is also commonly used for:
- Pressurized gas and oil pipeline systems 
- Military, aerospace, and planetary science applications [5, 6, 7]
- Pharmaceutical and biotechnology process equipment and fluid-flow systems 
- Cosmetics and (human/animal) food-contact manufacturing, processing, storage, and transportation equipment 
- Industrial wastewater management facilities 
- Vacuum, laser, and other specialized industrial system components
Likewise, it is also unsurprising that there is currently a wide range of high purity cleaning solvents and procedures designed for high-efficiency use with glass, ceramic, metal (stainless steel), plastic, electronic, and cured epoxy surfaces.
The Expected Outcomes Of High-Quality High Purity Cleaning
High-quality high purity cleaning services for industrial systems do not just clean loose debris/residue from equipment. Rather, high purity cleaning holds a unique distinction among cleaning processes of being a risk-based preventive control measure. That is, high purity cleaning removes potentially system-killing particulate contamination before particles break loose from their origins (in pockets of build-up, areas of oxidation or corrosion, etc.) .
This is especially true when firms couple high purity cleaning services with cleanliness-focused system designs (like updating regulator and valve design, using 316L stainless steel in equipment fabrication, and electropolishing system components) . That said, high purity cleaning can serve to extend the useful life and reduce the maintenance costs of even non-updated and contamination-prone systems.
High Purity Cleaning Services For Industrial Systems Outperforms Traditional Cleaning Protocols
Experienced industrial cleaning and testing service providers use high purity cleaning processes in place of traditional “boil up” and line-flushing cleaning protocols — which is especially useful for large components and complex systems. In these cases, firms switching to high purity cleaning (from boil up and similar procedures) can expect to dramatically reduce cleaning-related maintenance time while also vastly improving the efficacy of cleaning processes.
Boil up and similar procedures can require dedicating as much as 30% of operational time to cleaning, while also being incredibly energy-intensive and frustratingly inefficient in their use of (often expensive) solvents . Moreover, the outcomes of these kinds of traditional (re: not high purity cleaning) protocols have an inverse relationship with the soil levels of targeted systems; soil inhibits cleaning processes, so heavily soiled components (those that need cleaning the most) come out less clean . Traditional cleaning procedures are also prone to leaving dead-legs (like valved or blinded nozzles) uncleaned, and vertical ducts, chutes, and pipelines do not receive sufficient run-down of cleaning solvents to be adequately clean by regulatory standards .
High purity cleaning services for industrial systems do not replicate these problems. When applied by a well-qualified industrial cleaning and testing provider (like PFC), high purity cleaning reduces risk, reduces cleaning-related and offline-related operational costs, and ensures compliance with regulatory standards.