Metal Cleaning Services
Metal cleaning services are essential in a multitude of industries and in a variety of use cases. Metal cleaning is the process by which metal is cleaned—which can include removing dirt, removing oil, removing paint, and removing other foreign matter. Metal cleaning services can vary not only in the type of material that they aim to remove or the type of metal that they aim to clean but in the technique they rely on to remove unwanted material.
Chemical Cleaning Metal cleaning services rely on chemicals to remove unwanted substances on metal, for example. In contrast, other metal cleaning services might utilize abrasives, such as sand, in the case of sandblasting. Other metal cleaning services might rely on heat and pressure, such as vapor degreasing or high-pressure water cleaning.
The method to utilize metal cleaning depends on the circumstances in question. For automotive restoration, sandblasting is a common technique used to remove paint from large sections of metal car bodies. Sandblasting might be ideal in this use case, as sandblasting can remove large amounts of matter and leave the metal with a clean, abraded surface that will be easy for paint primer to cling to.
Similarly, chemical cleaning can sometimes be ideal when it’s important to leave behind a smooth surface and remove various contaminant types or foreign matter. However, in cases where using potentially harmful or volatile solvents is to be avoided, vapor degreasing may be the method of choice for removing oils and grease.
The bottom line is that the cleaning method may depend on the circumstance, the type of metal to be cleaned, environmental or health considerations, and many other important factors.
Numerous industries rely on metal cleaning services every day in order to carry out vital operations, and the individual use cases within various sectors can be wide-ranging. Some common applications of metal cleaning services include paint stripping, chemical cleaning, metal finishing, and vapor degreasing. Industries that rely on metal cleaning services include automotive manufacturing, automotive restoration, aerospace manufacturing, tech manufacturing, construction, energy production, medical, and more.
As such, not only are metal cleaning techniques widely varied, but so are the industries that rely on them and the metal cleaning services that meet the demand of numerous organizations each day. To better understand the vital importance of metal cleaning services and the wide range of approaches they can take, we’ll explore some of the common methods of metal cleaning that numerous industries rely on each day: chemical cleaning and paint stripping, as well as a use case where metal cleaning services are important: metal refinishing.
Chemical cleaning is a metal cleaning approach that’s often used in a range of industries. Chemical cleaning is a broad term that can denote a range of individual practices, and the chemicals involved in chemical cleaning can vary. Chemicals used might vary based on the metal being cleaned, what is being removed from the metal, and additional considerations such as safety.
For example, types of chemicals used in chemical cleaning can include strong acidic chemicals, strong basic chemicals, or solvents. The chemicals used may correspond to their application; for example, solvent chemical cleaning may be used specifically to remove oil and grease from metal, and acid chemical cleaning may be used to remove mineral deposit buildup or rust. Similarly, strong bases might be used to remove substances such as ink.
Chemicals used in chemical cleaning may also vary based on additional considerations, such as the type of metal being cleaned; aluminum, for example, may be cleaned with a basic agent rather than an acidic agent in order to remove contaminants. While acid may be otherwise more effective at removing some of the same contaminants, acid may pose a risk of corrupting the aluminum. Conversely, acids may be used to clean certain steels, as steel can be more resistant to acidic corrosion, and acids can be highly effective at removing contaminants.
Additionally, which material is used may be determined by factors such as the safety of the material or environmental concerns. In some cases, organizations may opt to utilize a metal cleaning service that may be considered less effective but more environmentally friendly or a metal cleaning service that relies on materials that don’t pose as much risk to humans.
One notable industry that frequently relies on chemical cleaning and accounts for many chemical cleaning use cases is the automotive industry. It isn’t simply the automotive manufacturing industry that relies on chemical cleaning, nor is it only the automotive restoration industry.
Chemical dipping paint removal can sometimes be used to restore an older vehicle or to repaint a newer one. Chemical paint stripping services can be used in various capacities, and metal dip solutions can be used in the manufacturing process or restoration, or even modification processes.
Paint stripping is an important type of metal cleaning process and refers to a multitude of processes that are aimed at removing paint from metal surfaces. The type of paint being removed, the type of metal it is being removed from, and other considerations such as safety and environmental sustainability may inform what paint stripping method is most appropriate.
Paint stripping can be done through various types of processes, some of which include:
Mechanical means can be employed to remove paint from metal surfaces. These can include wire brushes, sandpaper, shot blasting, sandblasting, and more. Abrasives can be highly effective as well as cost-effective. However, some abrasives, particularly those used manually, such as sandpaper, can be time-consuming to use.
Chemicals can be used to strip paint. These can include solvents, acidic substances, and basic substances. Automotive chemical paint stripping is a common application for this type of technique. Automotive paint strippers can vary depending on the circumstances. The best automotive paint stripper may depend on the needs in question. Car paint remover spray, for example, may be ideal when only a small area needs to be stripped, while a chemical dip for cars may be more tenable when an entire car body needs to be prepped for painting or recycling. Aircraft paint remover may be used in the aerospace industry to prepare aircraft surfaces for painting, treatment, or recycling.
Heat is another means of removing paint. Heat can be used to remove paint from metal surfaces, and various ways exist. Some of these might include heat guns or induction heaters. Some potential advantages of using heat for paint stripping include that it may be faster than other methods and may be considered less dangerous in certain situations, for example, than chemical stripping. However, some potential drawbacks include that it may pose a risk of damaging metal surfaces in addition to stripping them and that it may be costly.
Metal cleaning is a crucial step in the process of metal refinishing and restoration. Without proper cleaning, any coatings or finishes applied to the metal surface will not adhere properly, resulting in a subpar finish that is prone to peeling, chipping, or fading over time. Additionally, metal surfaces can accumulate dirt, rust, and other contaminants over time, which can weaken the metal and cause it to corrode or deteriorate faster. Cleaning removes these contaminants, allowing the metal to be restored to its original condition and ensuring that any coatings or finishes applied will last for years to come.
There's a lot of variation when it comes to metal cleaning services and the applications they’re employed in. Parts cleaning may be used to prepare metal surfaces for painting, recycling, further processing, welding, and—importantly—metal refinishing.
Metal refinishing is the process of restoring metal surfaces to their original appearance or state and is often done in order to improve metal surfaces that have been worn down or damaged. Like metal finishing, this process involves adding a finish to metal in some capacity, but metal refinishing specifically refers to instances where metal is being finished in order to restore it. There are several reasons for metal refinishing, and metal cleaning services can play an important role in metal refinishing. What’s more, a range of different metals may be refinished for various reasons. Brass refinishing, for example, might be used to restore the appearance of aged and tarnished brass fixtures.
Metal finishing often requires that metal surfaces are clean and ready for a new finish. This is because, for new finishes to adhere properly to the metal surface, it’s often crucial that the surface is cleaned and any contaminants removed. As such, metal cleaning services can become important before the metal can be refinished.
A range of metal cleaning techniques can be used to clean and prepare metal for refinishing. Among these might include metal dippers, sandblasting, and even manual cleaning.
The means of metal cleaning may depend on the type of refinishing that will be done, as well as the type of metal to be refinished. Furthermore, metal cleaning services may range depending on additional considerations such as environmental impact, human safety concerns, or others.
Some of the most common types of metal cleaning services used for metal refinishing include chemical cleaning, which can be used to remove not only corrosion like rust but dirt, grime, and grease as well—sandblasting, which is highly effective at removing large amounts of rust and paint—power washing, which is relatively gentle yet effective at removing dirt—and manual methods, such as wet sanding or scraping.