Oxygen Cleaning: Eliminating Fire Risks and Contaminates

When hydro-carbon based contaminates an environment can pose serious risks, explore how oxygen cleaning works to eliminate dangers.

Did you know that the Federal Aviation Administration provides service 2.9 million passengers daily? You probably don't think of all the complexities that go behind aircraft when you strap into a seat. 

When the flight attendants demonstrate how to apply an oxygen mask, you have likely already pulled out your headphones. At this point, you have tuned everyone out. But one small misstep in aircraft maintenance can result in catastrophic effects. 

Oxygen cleaning benefits more than only one industry. If your business works with any oxygen-rich systems, you need regularly scheduled maintenance. Without oxygen cleaning, you risk fires, explosions, and pollution. Even minor build-ups can result in system failure. 

Luckily, we have a must-read article for you. We will review what oxygen cleaning is and why it benefits your industry. Keep reading on for more information!

What Are Hydro-Carbon Based Contaminates?

Hydro-carbon is a combination of two elements (hydrogen and carbon), forming an organic chemical compound. These are naturally occurring compounds found in many energy sources. They are also highly combustible. 

When put under extreme heat or burned, they emit carbon dioxide and water, which largely makes them a great source of heat. You can find hydro-carbon products in aircraft jet fuel or gas-centered homes.

However, there is a downside to hydro-carbon compounds. First, they release greenhouse gases when burned, contributing to climate change. Extracting hydro-carbon chemicals can also contaminate groundwater sources. 

Hydro-carbon contamination in industries that use oxygen poses serious environmental and health risks. When hydro-carbon encounters oxygen, it is combustible. When combustion occurs, carbon dioxide is always emitted. 

Why Do You Need Oxygen Cleaning?

As the name sounds, oxygen cleaning helps with equipment cleaning that uses gaseous or liquid oxygen. When contaminants (such as hydro-carbon) enter these equipment pieces, they can cause fires or explosions. 

Healthcare equipment cleaning also prevents contaminants from entering the body. Oxygen is one part of what causes fire.

It is crucial to understand oxygen's role and why you need an oxygen cleaning service. The other two parts are:

  • Fuel
  • Ignition

Oxygen is widely used in many industries. Healthcare is one of the most prominent leaders in oxygen use. However, you can find oxygen-rich systems in other fields like:

  • Aerospace
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Gas markets
  • Chemical processing businesses
  • Power generation
  • And more

In these industries, you can find an ignition from metal materials, contaminants, or heat of compression. Once this happens, spontaneous fire or explosions occur. Some examples of common contaminants in these industries are:

  • VOC compounds
  • Hydro-carbon oils
  • Nitrates
  • Phosphates
  • Acids
  • Solvents
  • Dust

Manufacturing equipment cleaning involves removing combustible contaminants. In return, it can improve oxygen purification and manufacturing processes. 

What Happens if You Don't Perform Regular Oxygen Cleaning?

If you decide to skip out on industrial equipment cleaning, you risk malfunctioning equipment. In general, you can think of your oxygen system as your HVAC. Forgetting to switch out the filter leads to accumulating dirt and debris. 

In return, this makes your HVAC system, fan, and motor work harder. You might experience more breakdowns, higher repair costs, and reduced longevity. Oxygen systems work similarly. 

Dust and other contaminants impeded your system's functionality over time. Yet, the consequences can be much more detrimental than simply choosing to leave a dirty filter. If left unchecked, you risk fires and environmental pollution. 

Is Oxygen Cleaning Required?

Oxygen cleaning is not required for every industry. Instead, there are industry-specific regulations that you can look up.

This will give you more detailed information regarding mandated requirements. However, oxygen cleaning is required to uphold safety and quality assurance. 

Unfortunately, it is challenging to coordinate exact oxygen cleaning timelines for each industry. Here are some instances when you should hire an oxygen cleaning service:

  • During manufacture
  • After transport
  • During or after construction
  • During or after installation
  • Breaching any closed system
  • With noticeable rust
  • When systems fail inspection

With regular maintenance, you should not run into issues with contaminants making O2 systems fail inspections. You can regularly test equipment with visual inspections and sampling. 

Aerospace Industry Cleaning

Most people understand why hospitals or medical facilities need regular O2 cleaning. It is a vital source of patient health and can cause significant environmental and health damage. 

The aerospace industry is another field that benefits tremendously from regular oxygen cleaning services. Aircraft have chemical oxygen generation systems. These systems activate when pulling down oxygen masks, triggering oxygen to be released.

This process happens automatically with changes in cabin air pressure above 14,000 feet. The chemical reaction produces oxygen that can last for around 12 to 20 minutes.

Explosions can cause significant damage to the plane. If people are on board, you risk severe injuries. Unfortunately, these explosions can occur even with fine particulate mixtures. 

Aircraft vicinities are small and enclose high-pressure oxygen. This causes chemical reactions to ignite with even minor changes.

How Does O2 Cleaning Work?

There are four types of cleaning that a professional oxygen cleaning company may use. These include:

  • Mechanical cleaning
  • Aqueous cleaning
  • Semi-aqueous cleaning
  • Acid cleaning 
  • Solvent washing

Rather than performing it yourself, professional companies assess what contaminants are present and which method works best. It is likely that they may use more than one method for a thorough cleaning, depending on the scale of your business. 

Finding an Oxygen Cleaning Company

Oxygen cleaning protects your industry, reputation, and employees. It also helps the environment and reduces pollution. Many industrial and manufacturing industries use oxygen-rich systems daily. 

Without proper cleaning, they can acquire several contaminants. Even small changes can result in the worst-case scenario. 

Instead, let the professionals at Precision Fabricating and Cleaning help you. We specialize in cleaning oxygen systems in several industries. Contact PFC today and schedule an appointment for in-depth oxygen cleaning. 

About PFC: Precision Fabricating & Cleaning is an innovative, highly qualified company with unique capabilities to accomplish a wide range of industrial testing and Precision Cleaning services, specializing in Hydrostatic Testing, Oxygen Cleaning Service, Cryogenic & Cold Shock Testing, Mobile Field Cleaning, Passivating/Passivation, High Purity Cleaning, Ultrasonic Cleaning, and so much more.

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