Metal Surface Cleaners

February 12, 2012

Metal surface cleaners and conditioners from Birchwood Casey improve black oxide coating and other metal finishing processes. Available in a range of biodegradable liquid cleaners and mild acid conditioners, they provide the just-right surface preparation to achieve top quality finishes.

For example, most machined and fabricated metal components carry cutting oils or coolants that coat the metal surface and collect in threaded holes and recessed areas. Heat treat scale and light rust are also commonly seen. These surface soils must be completely removed prior to blackening or coating in order to achieve high quality results. These conditions are easily handled by choosing the right surface preparation from the following products.

Birchwood Casey's Presto Kleen powdered cleaner and Safe Scrub ST biodegradable liquid cleaner are designed for medium to heavy duty soak tank cleaning of iron and steel parts. These products mix easily with water and operate at temperatures of 120 — 180°F to quickly lift oily residues from the metal surface and hold them in suspension. Their unique blend of detergents make them free-rinsing in cold water, giving them the ability to produce waterbreakfree surfaces that are receptive to subsequent coating operations. Also available is Safe Scrub M for effective cleaning of light metals, such as aluminum, brass and zinc without discoloring the metal.

Birchwood Casey's Oxyprime Primer/Surface Prep serves as an activator and primer to make the metal surface more receptive to the subsequent coloring or blackening operation. Tool steels and heat treated parts must be activated and/or de-scaled by means of a surface conditioner prior to subsequent finishing operations. The Oxyprime solution provides that function for black oxide, cold blackeners and antique finishing. It provides a mild acid surface conditioning to ensure uniform adhesion across the part, without the risk of hydrogen embrittlement.

In some cases, the Oxyprime descaling operation can also be used in conjunction with ultrasonic rinsing to remove all traces of surface particulates, thereby producing a white-glove clean black oxide finish. Oxyprime is available in powdered and liquid concentrate, for a variety of finishing jobs, including activation, oxide removal or the formation of a base coat for subsequent TRU TEMP low temperature black oxide finishing. All metal cleaners and surface conditioners from Birchwood Casey are available in container sizes for small and large scale finishing operations and for use in various types of process lines, such as black oxide, phosphatizing and other metal coating systems.

Related Glossary Terms

  • black oxide

    black oxide

    Black finish on a metal produced by immersing it in hot oxidizing salts or salt solutions.

  • embrittlement


    Reduction in the normal ductility of a metal due to a physical or chemical change. Examples include blue brittleness, hydrogen embrittlement and temper brittleness.

  • tool steels

    tool steels

    Group of alloy steels which, after proper heat treatment, provide the combination of properties required for cutting tool and die applications. The American Iron and Steel Institute divides tool steels into six major categories: water hardening, shock resisting, cold work, hot work, special purpose and high speed.