Hard surface cleaners—used in kitchens, bathrooms, and on other surfaces—contain coupling solvents that are miscible in water and aid in removal of oily particles from the contaminated surface. The task of cleaning is made easier because the solvent encapsulates the oily particles, making them easier to lift from the soiled surface.
The most popular solvent for hard surface cleaning is ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE), manufactured and supplied as Eastman EB solvent. In November 2004, the United States Environmental Protection Agency formally announced the delisting of this product from the Clean Air Act (CAA)
Amendments’ list of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs). This action means that EGBE is not subject to the CAA’s Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) requirements.
Other glycol ethers such as Eastman DB, Eastman EP, Eastman DP, and Eastman PM can also be used in aqueous systems for good cleaning efficiency.
Clean surfaces are important for good appearance and sanitation in homes, businesses, and institutions. Liquid spray, saturated nonwoven wipes, and other methods of applying formulations containing coupling solvent and other chemical ingredients help to facilitate good cleaning practices.
Many processes in the industrial fabrication of metal parts, electronic circuit boards, medical equipment, and other segments require a cleaning process before, during, or after assembly. Clean surfaces are vital prior to applying coatings and sealants or in pathways for electronic devices. Solvent cleaners have been used to clean and dry quickly without leaving residues on the surface.
Eastman EB solvent is effectively used in aqueous cleaners such as metal parts degreasers, aluminum cleaners and brighteners, acid rust removers, concrete floor cleaners, and other general industrial cleaning applications. Other water-miscible glycol ethers such as Eastman DB, Eastman EP, Eastman DP, and Eastman PM can also be used in formulating aqueous cleaners.
When fast drying is needed for a solvent cleaning process, one of two grades of Eastman methyl acetate solvent can be used. Eastman methyl acetate has an evaporation rate like acetone and is exempt as a volatile organic compound (VOC). Eastman methyl acetate, high purity contains 0.10 wt.% max. methanol, while the industrial grade of Eastman methyl acetate contains 2.5 wt.% max. methanol. Methanol is a VOC and an HAP.
Eastman has a full range of solvents that can be evaluated in cleaning operations in pure or blended formulations. These solvents offer effective cleaning performance whether applied from aerosol cans, solvent dip tanks, or saturated wipes for a wide range of industrial segments.