Tube and pipe cleaning presents a difficult challenge in part washing because cleaning solution must flow through the pipe in order to properly clean. Various cleaning methods exist for short tubes with adequate internal diameter (ID), but when the aspect ratio length:ID increases, it becomes necessary to force solution flow through the pipe itself.
When the aspect ratio becomes high enough, for cannula cleaning, needles and other small diameter tubing, the surface tension of water becomes an issue creating issues with “wetting” or flowing though the part and capillary action. For really small ID, our cannula/needle cleaning system or automated guidewire cleaning and passivation system is recommended with ultrasonics. For regular pipes, tubing, exhaust manifolds, bent tubing, and other metal pipes, our cross flow industrial pipe cleaning system is recommended and is shown below.
Multiple impingement or agitation methods not only result in a better cleaned pipe or tube part, but also accelerate the part washing process when tubes are placed horizontally in the industrial pipe cleaner:
- Spray under immersion or high flow volume pump turbulation eductors from right side of tank (in picture above) allows for aggressive filtered solution flow “pushing” into tubing and the spray under immersion pump suction inlet on the left side of tank creates a “pull” action to ensure the solution adequately flows completely through the tube.
- The platform elevator which holds the pipes moving up and down in solution ensures different pipe ID can be run during the same cycle and moves the tubing through the entire spray under immersion zone.
- With tubes at a slight pitch angle, the platform elevator movement of the completely in and out of aqueous solution produces an aggressive hydraulic flushing action. This action pushes out loosen, aqueous cleaning chemistry dissolved soils in a forceful manner when the platform enters the solution. Upon exiting the solution, the pipes are allowed to quickly drain out any remaining solutions. This continuous movement in and out of solution in combination with spray under immersion impingement ensures clean parts no matter what pipe bend configuration.
Applications of tube cleaning equipment:
- Drawn tubing with oil used during drawing / extrusion
- Engine exhaust pipes – straight or bent exhaust
- Electrical conduit
- Engine manifolds
- Hydraulic manifolds, cylinders and tubing