The Application Centre, a network of laboratories serving NGL customers

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For over 40 years, NGL has formulated, manufactured and marketed detergents and solvents for precision cleaning and surface preparation in the following sectors:
• Medical devices: orthopaedic implants and surgical instruments

• Cutting tools: stripping of coatings (carbides, nitrides) and surface preparation before vacuum deposition • Watchmaking: cleaning of external components and movement parts

• Jewellery / Luxury accessories: cleaning of precious metals, surface preparation before coating (rhodium plating, gilding, etc.) • Precision optics: cleaning and surface preparation of optical components before vacuum coating

• Ophthalmic optics: cleaning and surface preparation of plastic and polycarbonate lenses

For these industries, any change in the manufacturing process (machine replacement, new materials, new parts, substitution of consumables, polishing paste, oil, detergent, etc.) can be risky and requires careful preparation. This is a valid concern in precision cleaning applications. That’s why NGL has set up the Application Centre, a network of process laboratories for its customers, staffed by an international team of application engineers who travel free of charge to the site to understand the issues. These experts in cleaning, surface preparation and water treatment have the following mission:
• Define the products and processes adapted to the specifications
• Carry out laboratory and industrial tests
• Bring into compliance
• Carry out audits and process optimization

In order to be able to respond quickly to technical needs and to carry out tests and manipulations, the “Application Centre” laboratories have adapted equipment and instruments:

• An ultrasonic washing line, with the possibility of working with frequencies of 25 or 40 kHz. The machine has four washing tanks and four rinsing tanks for an optimum finish in demineralised water with lift-out. For the most sensitive parts, additional tanks with frequencies of 80 or 130 kHz are available.

• A single-chamber installation that allows partial vacuum ultrasonic cleaning coupled with spray cleaning cycles. Rinsing can also be carried out in immersion or aspersion for optimum flexibility.

• A spraying machine mainly dedicated to the degreasing of parts.

• A digital microscope that ensures the characterisation of the cleanliness of the parts and tracks the finest traces on the surface. The chemical characterisation of these traces can be further investigated using a scanning electron microscope coupled to an X-ray detector (SEM-EDX).

• Several contact angle measuring devices from the Krüss company which, when the specifications for the cleaning of parts include a surface tension target to be reached, make it possible to check the surface cleanliness before PVD or to solve adhesion problems. The Application Centre has the experience to assist customers in finding solutions to the most complex problems.

Don’t hesitate to contact NGL’s application engineers!

Source Eurotec – N°443 – Septembre 2022