The phase-out of the last major ozone-depleting solvent, HCFC-225, is underway. HCFCs were a “transitional chemistry” to ease industry’s conversion from old-style ozone-depleting solvents to ozone-safe cleaners. Made by Asahi, HCFC-225 is marketed under names including “AK-225” and “AsahiKlean.”
AK-225 is widely used as a carrier fluid, a defluxer, a metal degreaser, and to purge oxygen systems. It can clean PCBs, medical devices, metal parts and for cleaning optics, photonics and lasers. The fluid evaporates completely and leaves no residue.
Most cleaning is performed in a vapor degreaser. Replacement solvents can be used in the same equipment with the same methodologies. Temperature settings and process times may need some adjustment but a capital investment should not be necessary as long as the cleaning machine is in good working order.
HCFC-225 only is made in Japan and production there has shut down. In most of the world, HCFC-225 can no longer be imported or sold. Stockpiles may be used until supplies are exhausted. Users outside of the U.S. should investigate local regulations.
Most companies will find the easiest transition to be an ozone-safe, nonflammable solvent. Customers using AK-225 should evaluate MicroCare HDS Heavy Duty Degreasing Solvent, MicroCare CCA General Purpose Degreaser, Vertrel® SDG Degreaser or Vertrel® MCA Plus.
Lastly, if the factory was using HCFC-225ATE, AK-225ATMS, or AK-225TM, take a look at MicroCare HDS Heavy Duty Degreasing Solvent, the MicroCare CCA General Purpose Degreaser, Vertrel® SFR Defluxer, Vertrel® SDG Degreaser or Vertrel® MCA (this is particularly for cleaning liquid oxygen systems).
How to Convert:
MicroCare will help companies switch from HCFC-225/AK-225. The MicroCare team will ask questions about the current cleaning process, standards, materials of construction, soils, equipment, people, training, safety, throughput and other details. MicroCare then recommends a replacement. MicroCare provides liters for preliminary testing and large-scale testing at the MicroCare Critical Cleaning Lab.