What are Vertrel® specialty fluids?
Vertrel® specialty fluids are a family of hydrofluorocarbon-based specialty fluids introduced as an ideal replacement for ozone-depleting specialty fluids such as CFC-113, 1-1-1-trichloroethane, HCFC-141b, HCFC-123, and HCFC-225, as well as high global warming specialty fluids such as perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
The unique properties of Vertrel® specialty fluids include:
- Low heat of vaporization
- Low surface tension
- Low viscosity
- Chemical and thermal stability
- Low toxicity
- Ease of recovery by distillation; compatible with a broad range of materials, metals, plastics, and elastomers
Vertrel® specialty fluids are used in a wide array of applications such as carrier fluids, specialty fluids, aerosols, drying, heat transfer, and defluxing. Our specialty fluids come with the assurance of consistent performance, quality, safety, and technical service and support.
What is an azeotrope? Are Vertrel® specialty fluids considered azeotropes?
An azeotrope is best described as a constant boiling blend. To be an azeotrope, the material has to be a mixture or a blend of at least two different elements or compounds.
For example, neat HFC-43-10mee is not an azeotrope because there's nothing else in it but molecules of HFC-43-10mee. The boiling point of HFC-43-10mee is about 50°C/130°F.
Now mix HFC-43-10mee with a small but precise amount of methanol and the boiling temperature for the mixture drops to 48°C/118°F. This is very odd and unexpected. The two chemicals are still separate and distinct in the mixture, but they are working together in a useful manner to lower their combined boiling point. When we boil some of this mixture in a beaker the two constituents will boil off at the same rate.
Let's suppose the mixture we are testing is 97% HFC-43-10mee and 3% alcohol. If we measured the composition of the fumes coming off the boiling liquid, we will notice that the mixture of fumes also is at the same 97:3 ratio. When we condense the fumes by cooling, the condensed liquid will have the same 97:3 ratio. The constant ratio means we have created an azeotrope. There is a bit of magic to making azeotropes. Not all liquids form azeotropes because the density, boiling point, and surface tension. All has to be exactly right.
Azeotropes have several advantages:
- Deliver the benefits of a mixture with the convenient handling and storage of a single compound
- Provide the ability to mix flammable and nonflammable ingredients to produce a stable nonflammable mixture - this is a big boost for safety!
- Permit the "tweaking" of a blend to obtain unique physical properties, which makes the blends useful across a broad range of applications
Several Vertrel® products are azeotropes, and that's important because it lowers your costs, boosts cleaning effectiveness, and enhances worker safety.
What are the advantages of using Vertrel® specialty fluids?
Safety: Most of the Vertrel® specialty fluids are nonflammable. This makes cleaning processes simpler, safer and more reliable. Please refer to the Material Safety Data Sheets for specific safety information.
Easy Operation: Manufacturing personnel deal with one azeotropic solvent instead of a solvating agent and rinse agent. A single azeotropic solvent eliminates the need to monitor the ratio of solvating agent and rinse agent.
Easy Monitoring: Monitoring the contamination level in Vertrel® specialty fluids is much easier than determining the soil level in a solvating agent. Most manufacturing companies do not have the laboratory capability to determine the soil level in the solvating agent so they prematurely discard the solvating agent, to preserve quality production. This discarding of the solvating agent results in greater solvent consumption.
Higher Soil-Loading Capability: Azeotropic specialty fluids have higher soil-loading capability, which allows the solvent to be used longer and thus reduces solvent purchases.
Faster Cleaning: Azeotropic specialty fluids clean much faster. This can reduce the cleaning cycle time by as much as 75%, increase productivity, and eliminate production bottlenecks involving the cleaning operation.
Minimal Odor: Vertrel® specialty fluids have minimal odor, which minimizes workplace odor, employee complaints, and residual odor left behind on the cleaned parts.
Lower Constant Temperatures: Vertrel® solvent cleaning systems operate at lower constant temperatures, which provides greater compatibility and reduces energy costs. In co-solvent systems, the operating temperature can fluctuate dramatically as the ratio between the solvating agent and rinse agent changes.
Less Expensive: Both solvent and energy costs are lower with Vertrel® solvent systems. Azeotropic specialty fluids are normally less expensive than the combined costs of two specialty fluids used in a co-solvent process. Less azeotropic solvent is consumed because it has higher soil loading capability and is reclaimable by distillation. Significant solvent loss occurs in a co-solvent process when the agent is added to an operating system because of the two vastly different boiling points.
Versatile Equipment Use: Single-sump vapor degreasers can be used with Vertrel® specialty fluids; boil-sump immersion is optional.
What is the shelf life of Vertrel® specialty fluids?
Vertrel® specialty fluids have an unlimited shelf life. As long as the drum or pail is not opened, and the material is stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, the material will remain in excellent condition for years.
How do I know if Vertrel® specialty fluids are for me?
First, contact a Vertrel® distributor or Chemours directly. We will discuss your application with you and, if needed, test to see if your part is compatible with Vertrel® and if it can be cleaned.