ABICLEAN – electrolyte solution for weld seam cleaning
Corrosion is a constant companion in metal processing – this is also the challenge in arc welding, because the properties of the material must be preserved. However, the welding process negates these properties along the weld seam. The reason for this is the oxide layer that forms, which is shown by what is known as tarnishing. It makes the metal at the welded seams sensitive to corrosion and must be removed accordingly. But also from a visual point of view – especially when welding stainless steel – the oxide layer needs to be removed. This is done gently and quickly with the electrolyte solution ABICLEAN from ABICOR BINZEL. After all, who would like to have scratch marks on noble stainless steel surfaces?
ABICLEAN is an all-in-one electrolyte solution and is used with the ABICLEANER devices from ABICOR BINZEL for the electrochemical cleaning of weld seams. This cleaning electrolyte solution is very user-friendly: While many electrochemical cleaning devices require different liquids for cleaning itself, for weld seam preparation and for weld seam finishing, all these properties are combined in ABICLEAN from ABICOR BINZEL.
Together with the ABICLEANER devices and the ABIBRUSH carbon fibre brush from ABICOR BINZEL, you can quickly and gently clean and passivate sensitive metals such as stainless steel at the same time. With the ABICLEANER 1000 cleaning device, even highly sensitive metal surfaces can be polished.
Simply dip the special ABIBRUSH of the ABICLEANER into the all-in-one electrolyte solution ABICLEAN and off you go with the cleaning or polishing process.
How does tarnish develop during welding
During the welding process, there is often discoloration along the weld seam – the thermal oxides, also known as tarnish. These discolorations are caused by the simultaneous action of heat and oxygen and have a major impact on the corrosion resistance, especially of high-alloy materials. With MIG welding, for example, the inert gas argon can help to maintain the normal passive layer, but the heating up when welding stainless steel changes its surface. In this process, the chromium combines with carbon to form chromium carbide and is therefore no longer available for corrosion protection. This means that the stainless steel surface is no longer protected from corrosion.
Depending on the environmental conditions, this process can lead to so-called pitting corrosion. For example, salt water can promote punctiform pitting, which continues inside the material.
Application of ABICLEAN
The ABICLEAN cleaning electrolyte is supplied in 1 litre bottles together with a smaller, empty plastic container. Before cleaning the weld, a small amount of ABICLEANER is poured into the second plastic container. The carbon fibre brush ABIBRUSH is dipped into the filled solution and the weld seam is cleaned with circular movements. Simply moisten the workpiece surface with the brush. After use, the residues of the cleaning solution can simply be rinsed off with clear water and the workpiece dried with a cloth. That’s best: With ABICLEAN there are no residues such as for example ugly sediments that are left behind after pickling.
Polishing works on the same principle – and leaves shiny metal surfaces behind.
In contrast to conventional pickling pastes, the ABICLEAN electrolytic cleaning solution does not contain any hydrofluoric acid and is therefore easy to handle for transport, storage, use and disposal.
Alternative to pickling pastes
Pickling pastes are one of the standard cleaning agents for weld seams that have been widely used in the past. However, the current requirements for occupational health and safety and environmental protection require alternatives. Pickling pastes are still used because they leave surfaces that are very well cleaned. However, their use must be carried out under strict safety precautions, because they may not come into contact with the skin, nor should their vapors be inhaled. In addition to all of this, they are time-consuming to handle because they require a long residence time. Residues from pickling pastes must not simply be rinsed off, but must be disposed of properly.
Electrochemical cleaning with ABICLEAN from ABICOR BINZEL makes welding seam cleaning safe, fast and safe.
For electrochemical cleaning with an ABICLEANER device, in addition to the ABICLEAN cleaning electrolyte, you also need a carbon fibre brush to apply the solution to the workpiece: the ABIBRUSH from ABICOR BINZEL. This carbon fibre brush consists of around 1.5 million filaments, each of which generates as many micro-arcs when used. Through this chemical process, welding residues like tarnish are removed quickly and gently and at the same time the corrosion protection of the workpiece surface is directly restored. The same applies to polishing with the ABICLEANER 1000 (AC/DC).
The ABIBRUSH cleaning brush – an original ABICOR BINZEL product only with the magenta fibre in the center – is designed to easily reach even tight gaps and corners that are difficult to access. The length of the bristles can be adjusted individually depending on the application.
The handle of the cleaning brush is ergonomically shaped and looks like the handle of a welding torch. It is extremely comfortable to hold and also suitable for continuous use. The individual components of the ABIBRUSH cleaning brush are resistant to the effects of acids. The threaded piece on the handle and the brush adapter are made of high-quality stainless steel 1.4571 and the brush attachment is made of acid-resistant plastic PTFE, which can also withstand high temperatures.