Plastic Removal: process comparison

The comparison listed here is supported by our own experience, research and analysis by the Fraunhofer IPK for the cleaning of tools in the injection molding industry.

Thermal Cleaning

  • Advantage: thermal cleaning is currently the most environmentally friendly, quickest and most economical type of polymer removal. If the thermal cleaning is done in a vacuum or in a fluidized bed, it is possible to clean parts with particularly high care.
  • Disadvantage: with particular sensitive and complex tools (e.g. spinnerets) it is possible that post-processing is required e.g. ultrasonic cleaning.

Conclusion: For basic cleaning as well as complete cleaning in the field of plastic removal the special SCHWING pyrolysis furnaces and fluidized bed systems are best suited.

Manual cleaning

with torch, scraper, brush, etc.

  • Advantage: can be done in the factory.
  • Disadvantage: often leads to damage to parts of the tool and the machine. The part being cleaned can be affected by uneven heating. Damaged tool surfaces reduce production quality. Most suitable for very robust machine parts.
    No cleaning of porous surfaces, only suitable for smooth surfaces.

Conclusion: this type of cleaning should not be used.

Mechanical cleaning

(blasting: dry ice, water, blasting agent)

  • Advantage: Dry ice is environmentally friendly and protects the material.
  • Disadvantage: Dry ice is too expensive to be used as an exclusive cleaning process and is not yet economically viable. Other types of blasting used in mechanical cleaning leave remnants of blasting agent and surface damage on tools and parts.

Conclusion: should be used preferably for post-processing of the part being cleaned for partial cleaning.

Chemical cleaning

  • Disadvantage: Damage to tool possible, polluting (depending on the solvent / chemical), high operating costs, time intensive.

Conclusion: can be used in post processing for particular contaminants. Otherwise, rather unsuitable.

SCHWING offers:

All thermal cleaning processes and, if required in post-processing, other methods for removal of inorganic contaminants.

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