+44 (0) 1506 443058   |   Component cleaning and fluids. Soldering products.

3D Printing – We beat the cleaning challenges!

With rapidly advancing capabilities and applications, 3D printing is a key element of the manufacturing process for many industries, often rivalling the traditional manufacturing process for both speed and cost.

As the technology becomes more affordable and more accessible, the type of companies using 3D printing is changing. Industries including aerospace, automotive, healthcare and even DIY are commonly utilising this kind of additive manufacturing, but as the process becomes more accessible and the long term efficiencies outweigh the initial costs, an increasing number of businesses are turning to 3D printing.

Although many of these businesses will factor in the costs of the materials and start up costs when considering investing in a 3D printer, some may be less aware of the upkeep and maintenance required.

In order to offer a full supply and maintenance package, two companies are working together to make both the technological and cleaning applications available to customers within Europe.

Fraser Technologies, which provides world-leading cleaning chemistries and equipment solutions, has been working with Markforged, a US-based manufacturer of industrial 3D printers, materials, and software.

Markforged produces printers that work with metals like stainless steel, and with composites such as carbon fibre, fibreglass and Onyx. Fraser Technologies provides expert advice and solutions for cleaning printed parts.

Graham Fraser, Managing Director of Fraser Technologies, explains: “Any components produced by a 3D printer require rigorous cleaning. In some cases – depending on the materials used to create the component – the contamination may not be visible to the naked eye, but they will still need cleaning prior to assembly. Our solutions offer bespoke chemistries that are applicable to a variety of component materials to ensure all cleaning standards are upheld.”

Working closely with customers to understand their challenges, Fraser Technologies can help with many cleaning applications in an efficient manner with low environmental impact and extend the life of existing processes and parts across a wide sector of industry. Fraser Technologies provides expert advice and a wide range of world-leading chemistries and equipment solutions for component cleaning, electronics soldering, and heat transfer and carrier fluids. It offers an independent range of new generation products; comprehensive after-sales service; and a commitment to improving performance, productivity, environmental performance and operator safety.

Comments Off on 3D Printing – We beat the cleaning challenges! News

Read more

New F Gas regulations and why we should be paying more attention!

Regulations around the use of F-gases (also known as fluorinated gases) have become increasingly stringent over the last few years, and many businesses are unknowingly breaking laws.

F-gas is most commonly thought of as an issue for the refrigeration and cooling industries, where their use is most prevalent. But, these gases can also be present in solvents, which affect a much wider variety of industry sectors. As a result, many businesses are unaware that these significant changes apply to them.

F-gases are man-made, and the most common in the EU are hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride. These were favourable for a time because they do not harm the ozone layer, have low toxicity, and are non-flammable. However, later research has found that in contrast, they have a very high Global Warming Potential (GWP). Global warming is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, generally attributed to the greenhouse effect, caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants. GWP is used to represent the equivalent of Co2 being released into the atmosphere. So 1kg of Co2 = a GWP of 1. In the case of F-gases, they have a GWP of up to 11,000.

New generation of cleaning solutions have significantly lower CO2 emissions than those containing F-gas.

In 2015, the European Union released an updated F-gas Regulation to replace the one adopted in 2006, and the new targets aim to cut the EU’s 2014 F-gas emissions by two-thirds by 2030.

F-gas use is scheduled to be reduced by 80% over the 15 years to 2030.

To achieve this, the current Regulation limits how much F-gas can be sold in Europe and bans the use of F-gases in new equipment where alternatives with a lower GWP are widely available. It also aims to prevent F-gases emitting from existing equipment by outlining mandatory checks and servicing, and controlling the safe recovery of the gases at the end of the equipment’s life cycle. And while the presence of F-gases is most common in equipment for refrigeration or cool air systems, they can also be found in solvents and older fire protection systems, and must be monitored in the same way.

While these regulations may mean inconvenient changes for some businesses, it is not something that can be ignored. It is a criminal offence to leak F-gases, and many operators are completely unaware. Others are choosing to ignore the rules as they believe they’re not being enforced; but this is a big risk. With environmental awareness and action dominating political and news agendas, any policies and regulations around environmentally harmful practices are only going to become tighter. Now is the time to implement changes to protect businesses, and protect the earth.

How to comply with F-gas Regulation

In order to comply with the regulations, the operators of any equipment that uses or contains F-gases must ensure the equipment is leak tested to specific standards. If a leak is detected, the equipment must be immediately removed from use and repaired, and then remedial checks are to be carried out within one month.

Any stationery equipment that contains more than 3kg of F-gases must also keep records of their use, including the type of F-gases used and the quantity; details of any services carried out on the equipment; and the details of every leak test conducted on the system.

Finally, all equipment and systems that contain or use F-gas must be labelled with the type and quantity within.

Because it can be difficult to immediately recognise which products contain F-gas, there are some things to look out for. In the case of solvents, it is required by law that F-gas is noted on the drum so all labelling should be examined carefully. F-gases also have to be listed on material safety data sheets, so these should be obtained for all solvents, as well as regularly requesting the latest version to be aware of any changes.

What are the alternatives to F-gases?

The effects of F-gas Regulation and the restrictions it places on production are being felt across the market, as quotas for manufacturers are dropping and costs are increasing as a result.

One of the reasons the EU has placed restrictions on F-gas in particular is because so many environmentally friendly alternatives are available, so it is important to explore these options.

For solvents, a new generation of cleaning solutions are just as effective as those containing F-gases. In most cases, they also make cleaning processes more efficient and more cost-effective, as well as minimising environmental impact. Solvents such as the Opteon™ range from Chemours™ were specifically developed to be safe for users and for the environment. Opteon™ SF80, which is the newest product in the range and has an ultralow GWP of less than 2.5, is a non-flammable, fast drying cleaning solvent that works well as a replacement for hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons as well as high GWP HFE’s currently noted in annex 2 of F-gas regulations. It is well-suited for vapour degreasing, precision cleaning and the removal of greases and oils; and to clean a variety of soils from mechanical components, electronics, optics, and military hardware. These solvents are also increasingly replacing commonly used heat transfer fluids.

With quantities of F-gases decreasing, and costs escalating, businesses currently using F-gases in their equipment, and in particular those using solvents containing F-gases for industrial applications, should look to the future and to the alternatives. These regulations are not going away, and when there are choices available that deliver equal results, are more cost-effective, and reduce environmental impact, the time to embrace the change is now.

For more details on Opteon™ SF80™ and our other new generation chemicals please visit our solvent cleaning page.

Thank You

Comments Off on New F Gas regulations and why we should be paying more attention! News

Read more

nPB Sunset Date set for 4th July 2020

Leading US industry body the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has changed its recommended threshold limit value for n-Propyl Bromide (nPB) from 10 ppm to just 0.1 ppm, amid concerns over health risks to workers.

In addition, nPB has also been added to the candidate list for inclusion in Annex XIV of European REACH regulations as a ‘Substance of Very High Concern’ (SVHC).

Continue Reading

Comments Off on nPB Sunset Date set for 4th July 2020 News

Read more

Surface World 2018

Thank you to all of you who stopped by our stand at Surface World 2018 – we enjoyed seeing everyone, and welcoming many new customers aboard!

We launched our new standardised cleaning range of equipment at the show, which was met with a very positive response. To anyone who didn’t get a chance to talk to us, would like to arrange a trial or would like to find out more about the bespoke options we have available, please contact us.

Lots of people asked us about the new nPB and Trike regulations and how we could help, please get in touch and we can provide you with an expert, independent recommendation.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you

Comments Off on Surface World 2018 News, Uncategorized

Read more

One stop Trike replacement solutions

As premier UK component cleaning experts, Fraser technologies offers:

  • Expert advice on Trike replacement
  • Complete replacement cleaning systems
  • Drop-in eco-friendly cleaning chemistries
  • Test before you buy at our trial centres

The sunset date for Trichloroethylene – a.k.a. ‘Trike’ or ‘TCE’ – as a cleaning solvent has been and gone but many are still using Trike and are looking to find an alternative solution.

Our one stop solution includes advice on the related regulatory and technical challenges complete replacement cleaning systems and/or alternative chemistries, supported by our customer Trike replacement trial centres.

Continue Reading

Comments Off on One stop Trike replacement solutions News

Read more