High-precision cleaning is required across a wide range of sectors, including aerospace, defense, medical device manufacturing, pharmaceutical processing, semiconductor/electronics, etc.

Cleaning parts and surfaces with solvents is simple, effective and low-cost. Although health and safety and environmental concerns come into play with the use of solvents, this book explores how safe and compliant solvent-based cleaning techniques can be implemented. A key to this is the selection of the right solvent. The author also examines a range of newer "green" solvent cleaning options.

This book supplies scientific fundamentals and practical guidance supported by real-world examples. Durkee explains the three principal methods of solvent selection: matching of solubility parameters, reduction of potential for smog formation, and matching of physical properties. He also provides guidance on the safe use of aerosols, wipe-cleaning techniques, solvent stabilization, economics, and many other topics.

A compendium of blend rules is included, covering the physical, chemical, and environmental properties of solvents.

Key Features

  • Three methods explained in detail for substitution of suitable solvents for those unsuitable for any reason: toxic solvents don't have to be tolerated; this volume explains how to do better
  • Enables users to make informed judgments about their selection of cleaning solvents for specific applications, including solvent replacement decisions
  • Explains how to plan and implement solvent cleaning systems that are effective, economical and compliant with regulations


Engineers and scientists involved in precision cleaning across sectors including aerospace, defense, medical device manufacturing, pharmaceutical processing, semiconductor / electronics, etc.

Table of Contents




What You Can Do with This Book

A Note on Organization

Units Used in This Book

External References Cited in This Book

Chapter 1. Relationship of Solvent Properties to Structure


1.1 Background

1.2 The Elements of Cleaning Solvents

1.3 The Incredible Shrinking Periodic Table

1.4 A Solvent can be Elements Arranged in a Structure

1.5 A Solvent can also be a Structure Populated with Additional Elements

1.6 The Future of Solvent Design

1.7 Specific Relationships of Composition and Structure to Solvent Properties

1.8 Solvent Design is Multidimensional

1.9 Solvent Design Goals

1.10 Design of Non-Traditional Solvents

1.11 Solvent Selection

Chapter 2. Solubility Scales (Parameters)


2.1 Absolute and Relative Information

2.2 Molecular Soup

2.3 May the Force(s) be With You

2.4 Solubility Parameters

2.5 Kauri Butanol (Kb) Value

2.6 Other Measures of Solvency

2.7 Hildebrand Solubility Parameter

2.8 Hansen Three-Dimensional Solubility Parameters

2.9 Numerical Values of Hansen Solubility Parameters

2.10 The Basic Approach – Comparison to Other Materials

Chapter 3. Solvent Selection for Specific Tasks


3.1 Background

3.2 The Nature of Soils

3.3 The Basic Approach to Solvent Selection

3.4 This Author’s Approach

3.5 Autopsy of Some Soils

3.6 Food-Derived Residue

3.7 Lubricants

3.8 Greases

3.9 Coolants or Hydraulic Fluids

3.10 Polymer-Derived Residues

3.11 Biological Residue(s)

3.12 General Observations about Soils

3.13 Use of Hansen Solubility Parameters in Solvent Selection

3.14 Analysis for Specific Soil Components

3.15 General Resul


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© 2014
William Andrew
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About the author

John Durkee

Affiliations and Expertise

Consultant in Cleaning Technology and Processes, Texas, USA