Aerospace, NASA, and Military Environments

Critical cleaning requirements at government facilities or for government projects always are challenging. MicroCare products are used on armored vehicles, on airborne platforms and on fire-and-control systems. These fluids are used in the field, at repair depots, and by the original manufacturers. The U.S. Department of Energy even uses MicroCare products for cleaning radioactive materials.

For example, every military platform is — by definition — a high-performance system, demanding the most from circuit boards and mechanical assemblies. To achieve the highest levels of performance parts often have extremely complex shapes or densely packed circuit boards. Size can be an issue for cleaning processes as well, as parts can range in size from extremely small to massively large and heavy. These projects often incorporate the broadest range of solvency and materials compatibility. Other issues stem from highly variable manufacturing production runs (from a few parts to a few million) and life-cycles that endure for decades.

Aeronautics and space applications bring their own complexities. Aerospace components are required to function at extreme temperatures and pressures (thermal cycles ranging from +50°C to -70°C on a single mission). Out-gassing and accelerated dendritic growth in zero gravity are additional concerns that commercial customers may never consider. Trapped moisture, either from improper cleaning or rinsing freezes at higher altitudes/ lower temperatures, can cause ice crystals to form which can cause corrosion on items ranging from small PCBs to entire landing gear assemblies.

Further, many military products are protected with rugged conformal coatings which can be very difficult to remove.

All of these issues make sustainability a complex question for these devices. Therefore, proper cleaning is paramount during the assembly process and prior to the application of any conformal coatings.

Given these challenges, the criteria for selecting the proper cleaning solvent usually are: performance, global availability, worker safety, and long-term material compatibilities.

Powerful, fast-drying, residue-free MicroCare solvents address all of the military and aerospace issues. These high-purity, non-flammable, synthetic cleaning fluids offer high-performance cleaning on strategic parts without leaving unwanted residues or causing detrimental effects to the substrates.

Importantly, there is a specific military directive regarding nPB. All U.S. Dept. of Defense operators are required to Identify and catalog operations that use nPB. Both large- and small-scale uses (e.g., degreasing tanks, hand cleaning wipes) should be identified. Operators are required to take actions to reduce the usage of nPB, identify or develop nPB replacements and ensure that replacement products are less hazardous than the nPB they are replacing. For details about this requirement, contact MicroCare.

MicroCare has a variety of solvents for these applications. Among the best choices: