Small Part Cleanliness Testing
The cleanliness of small parts and components is a concern in a variety of industries. Especially, in the automotive and aerospace industry where foreign particles can result in failure of valves, gears, bearings, etc. used in braking, transmissions and combustion systems. Residual particles from the manufacturing, packaging and/or assembling process often need to be removed prior to use. Verifying and ensuring the cleanliness of small parts prior to system assembly is a common test to ensure the quality of incoming parts, qualifying suppliers, and producing a reliable product.
PTL has the capability to determine the particulate loading of contaminating particles from a batch of small parts by either pressurized rinsing or ultrasonic cleaning of parts using aqueous-based cleaners. The liberated particles are collected, dried, and then weighed to determine the average mass per part or mass collected per square centimeter (area of the part must be provided by the client). Low milligram levels of loading can be detected. Our clients use this information to set specifications for incoming parts to prevent problems before they may occur.
Once the particles are removed from the parts and collected, PTL can also determine the size and shape as well as the composition of the particles in many cases. The size and shape of the particles can be measured by image analysis. Particle size determination alone can be performed using a variety of sizing techniques also available at PTL. Measuring the size and shape of the foreign particles allows for improved design of filtration and removal systems. Determining the composition of the foreign particles using Raman spectroscopy and/or Energy Dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy (EDS) along with Scanning Electron Microscopy can aid in identifying the point source(s) of the contaminate and thus possibly control/prevent generating the contamination all together.
Please contact PTL to discuss your small part cleanliness testing project.