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What is GWP and how can it be reduced?

Everyone has heard of global warming, but beyond changes to the weather – like freezing winters and sweltering summers – many people don’t really know what it means.

Global warming is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. NASA says that global warming can be attributed to the greenhouse effect, which occurs when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth. Some types of gases block heat from escaping the atmosphere and are long-lived, remaining semi-permanently in the atmosphere without responding physically or chemically to changes in temperature.

Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons are the most prevalent greenhouse gases and while some, like carbon dioxide, occur naturally, others such as chlorofluorocarbons are synthetic and their manufacture is heavily regulated.

One of the methods for measuring the impact a gas will have on the atmosphere is Global Warming Potential (GWP). GWP is used to represent the equivalent of C02 being released into the atmosphere, where 1kg of C02 = a GWP of 1. For companies manufacturing gases, and for those purchasing and using them, it is critical to manage environmental impact by keeping the GWP as low as possible.

How can cleaning solvents help?

Cleaning solvents were historically guilty of very high GWP and had seriously detrimental effects on the atmosphere. However, a new generation of solvents has been developed specifically with the environment in mind and are now far less harmful than comparable solutions.

For example, the new Opteon™ SF80® cleaning solvent from Chemours has an ultralow GWP of less than 2.5, compared to common F-gas solvents that can have a GWP of up to 11,000. Because the solvent is just as effective, and in some cases more efficient than competitor products, the environmental savings mean it is an ideal replacement.

C02 equivalent for 100kg Emissions

Reduced cost, reduced carbon footprint

A project recently undertaken by Fraser Technologies demonstrates how advantageous this change can be. One of our customers – a prominent aerospace manufacturer – asked us to look at an alternative to the high-GWP solvent they were using. We worked with them to approve SF80 and once on site, we assisted in optimising their processes to reduce solvent consumption. We introduced a solvent recovery process to allow them to further reduce waste and reuse the recovered solvent. Previously they had been using 7 Metric Tonnes per year, and this change of solvent has taken the customer’s overall usage of solvent down by 28%.

While the existing product was less expensive than SF80, the reduction in solvent usage has shown a significant cost reduction of around £30,000 per year as well as a significant reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions.

With a GWP of 990, the CO2 emissions created by the customer when using the alternative product were equal to the emissions of driving 143 times around the world (using an average sized family car) – or 7.5 times to the moon and back. In comparison, by using SF80®, the customer’s new emissions are the equivalent of driving from Edinburgh to Moscow.

We need to act now

The statistics are alarming – 18 of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001; Earth’s ice sheets are losing 413 Gigatonnes of mass per year; and the total sea levels are increasing by 3.3 millimetres per year. When you consider that this can be almost exclusively attributed to harmful gases in the atmosphere, there’s really no excuse for not taking action and making improvements where possible. When more environmentally-friendly solvents exist, which yield the same results, making a change becomes one of the easiest ways to play your part in protecting our Earth.

For more details on our new generation chemicals please visit our solvent cleaning page by clicking here.

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What are the Benefits of our New Generation Specialty Fluids?

With the wide range of options on the market for cleaning and degreasing products and components, it can be difficult to know where to begin when choosing the best cleaning solution for your business.

The first choice is whether to opt for water-based aqueous cleaning or solvents. While many people have an instant reaction to steer clear of solvents due to their controversial history, there’s an impressive new wave of cleaning technologies that should not be ignored: new generation speciality fluids.

Significant advancements have been made in industrial solvent cleaning, making specialty fluids a viable, safe and cost-effective option. They use eco-friendly chemistries, and are an effective alternative to older, hazardous solvents and those containing F-gases that have now been banned or restricted. Recent studies have also shown that in many cases, the solvent cleaning process is much more environmentally friendly than comparable aqueous processes.

Some of the older solvents still in use include Perchloroethylene, Methylene Chloride, nPB, HFEs and HFCs, all of which can, in most instances, be substituted with a new generation specialty fluid. nPB in particular has received a sunset date of 4 July 2020 by the European Chemicals Agency, which will be here before we know it, so it would be wise to begin considering replacement options sooner rather than later.

One option that should be explored is the Opteon™ range from Chemours™, which boasts low 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 C02 being released into the atmosphere. So 1kg of CO2 = a GWP of 1. For example, HFC 4310, a commonly used fluorinated solvent, has a GWP of 1300 compared to Opteon’s™ new SF80 which has a GWP of less than 2.5.

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

So, in a nutshell, what are the benefits of these new specialty fluids?

  • Superior cleaning performance
  • Ultralow GWP of less than 2.5, significantly reducing environmental impact
  • Recyclable and reusable, reducing cost of ownership and environmental footprint
  • Lower in capital equipment costs than comparable water-based systems, also reducing cost of ownership and leaving a smaller equipment footprint
  • Non-flammable
  • Safe in use
  • Fast and efficient, shortening lead times and reducing costs
  • Safe and easy to use, and low maintenance

The Chemours™ range of safe, environmentally friendly solvents have become widely accepted as best in class, next generation fluids and are approved for use in a large range of standard cleaning systems. If you’re considering a new solution for oil and grease removal; precision cleaning; high solvency defluxing; silicone removal; vapour degreasing; or cold cleaning, Fraser Technologies is here to help with your cleaning requirements.

We look at each job individually, and then advise on the cleaning fluids, cleaning systems and equipment that will provide optimum results for your business. We offer fully bespoke cleaning systems, where expert analysts conduct a site visit and evaluate individual cleaning needs and existing processes, before making detailed recommendations for both equipment and chemistries. We run trials and provide detailed reports, offering independent evaluations and recommendations to ensure the correct solution is used for every application.

For more details on our new generation chemicals please visit our solvent cleaning page by clicking here.

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Our Partner Chemours Receives ACC Sustainability Leadership Award for Opteon™ Range!

Next generation of more sustainable, low-Global Warming Potential refrigerants is gaining global adoption

The Chemours Company (Chemours), a global chemistry company with leading market positions in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts and chemical solutions, was recently presented with the Sustainability Leadership Award from the American Chemistry Council for the development of Opteon™, its industry-leading, sustainable family of refrigerant chemical products.

Chemours developed Opteon™ to help its customers meet increasing market demands for high performance, more environmentally sustainable refrigerants and blends, fueled by increasingly stringent global-warming regulations around the world, as well as changing consumer preferences. Opteon™ refrigerants have zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and very low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

“Our development of Opteon™ is a perfect example of how the power of chemistry can help solve some of the world’s largest challenges,” said Mark Vergnano, Chemours president and CEO. “Working with our value chain partners, we remain committed to providing the world with high-performing, low-GWP refrigerant products that are better for the environment. And with the start-up of our new $300 Million production facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, we have tripled our company’s capacity for Opteon™, which allows us to meet growing customer demand while investing and creating new manufacturing jobs here in the United States.”

Gaining momentum
Demand for more sustainable refrigerants has accelerated in recent years as the United States, Japan, and a number of European countries have rolled out stricter environmental standards, starting first with mobile air conditioning and then expanding into commercial refrigeration and residential and commercial air conditioning.

In mobile air conditioning, Chemours expects over 145 million vehicles on the road to be using Opteon™ YF (HFO-1234yf) by the end of 2020. Compared to previous-generation hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, Opteon™ YF reduces GWP environmental impact by more than 99%. Opteon™ YF is based on hydrofluoro olefin (HFO) chemistry and has a GWP of less than 1. By comparison, the most common refrigerant, HFC-134a, has a GWP of 1,300.

For commercial refrigeration applications in Europe, Opteon™ XP40 has been one of the leading retrofit gases for R404A/R507, particularly in the supermarket refrigeration sector. Opteon™ XP40 has played a critical role since 2015 in allowing the market to comply with the F-gas regulations.

In addition, several global companies have recently selected Opteon™ products for residential and commercial air conditioning applications, including Carrier for their ducted residential and light commercial packaged air conditioning products in North America, Carrier Transicold Europe, Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics and IT Cooling Systems SpA (MEHITS), Johnson Controls, and E-Mart, Korea’s largest hypermarket chain.

Additionally, last year Chemours announced a multi-year partnership with the National Hockey League focused on providing Opteon™ refrigerants to hockey rinks across North America. The partnership supports the NHL’s Greener Rinks Initiative, a league-wide program committed to sharing sustainable business practices with community rink owners and operators.

A different kind of chemistry company
In 2018, Chemours published its first Corporate Responsibility Commitments report, which centers on ten ambitious goals the company will focus on achieving by 2030. These goals are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and include developing and marketing products like Opteon™, which contribute to broader sustainability efforts.

“Consumers are demanding cleaner, greener, and more energy-efficient products, and we’re positioning our customers farther up the value chain to meet that demand with products like Opteon™,” said Paul Kirsch, president of Fluoroproducts at Chemours. “This is about doing well by doing good; we are dedicated to becoming a different kind of chemistry company for a world that demands more.”

About Chemours
The Chemours Company (NYSE: CC) is a global leader in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts, and chemical solutions, providing its customers with solutions in a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise and chemistry-based innovations. Chemours ingredients are found in plastics and coatings, refrigeration and air conditioning, mining, and general industrial manufacturing.

Fraser Technologies long standing partner of Chemours
We are delighted to be the official UK distributor for Chemours Opteon™ range and if you would like anymore information on any of these products please do not hesitate to contact us.

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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.

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Why we should pay more attention to new F Gas regulations

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 inadvertently 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. Some may be 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

According to the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2015, 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.

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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).

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Launching Opteon™ SF80®…our best new generation cleaning solvent yet!

We are extremely pleased to announce we are now supplying new generation Opteon™ SF80®, a specialty fluid designed to meet the high specifications and demands of the industrial cleaning market.

It is a safe, non-flammable, and extremely environmentally friendly solvent with no ozone depletion potential, an ultra-low global warming potential (<2.5), and does not contain any products regulated under F gas regulations.

SF80® is an effective replacement for nPB, TCE, HCFCs, PFCs, HFCs and HFEs solvents, and is becoming known as the leader within a variety of cleaning applications such as vapour degreasing, oil and grease removal, precision cleaning, high solvency defluxing, and silicone removal, amongst many other uses.

Please contact us to discuss how Opteon™ SF80® could work within your application today.

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Solvent Cleaning Myth Busting!

A great deal of misconception still surrounds the use of solvent cleaners, and many businesses are using aqueous solutions just because they think they’re safer, rather than considering the chemistry that is most appropriate for their needs.

While solvents do have a controversial history, the solvents of the 80s and 90s have been left in the past, and the current new generation of chemicals are just as safe as the aqueous solutions people have become accustomed to.

So what are some of the most common myths about solvents, and what’s the truth?

Are solvents bad for the environment?

Modern cleaning solvents use extremely eco-friendly chemistries, which offer a superior cleaning performance. They are low in cost and provide a genuine alternative to the old hazardous solvents which have now been banned or restricted. The Chemours™ Opteon™ range of safe, environmentally friendly solvents have become widely accepted as best in class, next generation fluids and are approved for use in a large range of standard cleaning systems.

Solvents now also boast low global warming potential (GWP), which is a measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere up to a specific time horizon, relative to carbon dioxide. It compares the amount of heat trapped by a certain mass of the gas in question to the amount of heat trapped by a similar mass of carbon dioxide and is expressed as a factor of carbon dioxide. GWP is used to represent the equivalent of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. For example, 1kg CO2 = GWP of 1. Opteon™ SF80 has a GWP of <2.5 compared to a traditional HFC-based solvent with a GWP figure of around 148.

Are solvents dangerous to health?

While hazardous chlorinated and brominated solvents do exist, a safe, non-flammable solvent is preferable. The Opteon™ range is an ideal drop-in replacement for restricted chlorinated solvents such as Trichloroethylene, Methylene Chloride, perchloroethylene (PERC) and n Proplybromide (nPB). The products maintain compositional stability during use, are non-flammable, and have low odour and toxicity levels, whilst also having superior cleaning performance with the best solvency power in their class.

Are solvents cleaners better than aqueous cleaners?

There isn’t a simple answer to this, as it entirely depends on what needs to be cleaned. Solvents can be considered a ‘dry’ cleaning option and this process is ideal for water-sensitive or difficult to dry components. The Opteon™ SF80® solution, for example, can be applied to industrial cleaning applications like vapour degreasing, oil and grease removal, precision cleaning, high solvency defluxing, and silicone removal.

Overall, solvents offer speed and efficiency, which shorten lead times and reduce costs. There are lower capital equipment costs than with comparable water-based systems, so there is a low cost of ownership and a smaller equipment footprint. Plus, they are extremely easy and safe to use. These benefits combined with extremely high precision cleaning, make solvents a very attractive option for many businesses.

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Celebrations as Fraser Technologies celebrates its 50th Year!

The champagne was popped at the tail end of 2018 as Fraser Technologies reached its 50th year in trading. The family run company begun back in 1968 by David Fraser and his wife Anne. They worked extremely hard to build the business for the next 23 years then in 1991, their Son Graham joined the business having previously spent 7 years in various manufacturing roles. In 1996 Graham became Managing Director and has since grown the business phenomenally into a highly reputable, expert driven precision component cleaning company, who is trusted by many huge brands within the Aerospace, Automotive, Medical and Electronics industries around the world.

Graham has established many fantastic relationships with all of his customers. Graham continues to have a hands on approach to supporting our customers and comments that “the business has been grown one account at a time and this hands on approach has been the key to the business growth and customer retention over the years”. All our customers large and small are hugely important to the continued success of the business. Graham has many big plans for the company within the next few years and now with a new management team in place the future of the business is assured, so it is exciting times ahead for Fraser Technologies!

Graham would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of his old, present and new customers and also his suppliers for their continued support and he looks forward to the next 50 years!

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Our Trip to Tokyo to visit Koki!

We recently attended the annual Koki Sales Meeting which this year was held in superb Tokyo, Japan!

More than 30 representatives attended the meeting from over 20 countries and we were very proud to be representing the UK. Koki Company Limited are a global manufacturer and supplier of soldering materials, all of which are widely used and trusted around the globe. It was the first time in the past 10 years that the meeting was held in Japan, which is where the headquarters, main production lines and R&D facilities are located.

The two day event consisted of global sales meetings, product development updates, and corporate news from the soldering giant. The second day allowed attendees to explore the production and R&D factory, where we were able to appreciate at first hand, Koki’s commitment and effort towards quality and reliability.

We were also able to take in some amazing sights Tokyo had to offer including beautiful red Japanese Maple in the Temple Gardens and entered some of the tallest buildings in the world, our meeting was held in a conference room on the 42nd floor!

Please find some images above of our fantastic trip to visit one of our most long lasting partners.

Thank you Koki for such an experience, we look forward to visiting you in Poland next year!


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