Stamping parts are the product of a manufacturing technique using a stamping die to mass produce metal components. Stamping uses flat metal sheets as the raw material and the stamping machine, in combination with the stamping die, forms the metal into the desired shape and size.
Stamping is a widely used technique because it saves welding time, energy consumption, provides accuracy in dimensions, and lowers fabrication costs. Stamping parts have a coating lubricant on their surface to prevent deformation and sticking to other materials during the stamping process.
This coating remains on stamped parts even after it has served its purpose. In this article, we discuss how to clean stamping lubricant off metal parts.
Eleven Methods for Cleaning Stamping Grease from Metal Parts
Use a Solvent
The most common method used to removing stamping lubricant involves solvents. There are many available in the marketplace, so you need to find one best for your needs. Read the product labels carefully and follow all safety instructions. When using solvents, wear the proper protective gear, which includes gloves and goggles.
Dampen a cloth with the solvent and wipe the lubricant from the metal parts. Always apply the solvent to the cloth and not directly onto the part to prevent damage to the component. After cleaning the stamping part with a solvent, it should be rinsed with clean water and/or soap, as needed, to remove any lingering lubricant from the part’s surface.
Using solvents is an accepted method for cleaning lubricant from stamping parts, as they cause no damage to the component.
Use a Cleaner
Many types of cleaners can be used to removing stamping lubricant from the surface of metal parts. However, before using, verify its compatibility with the metal you are cleaning. Using the wrong cleaner may cause rust or otherwise damage to the finish. Then apply it to the soiled part and wipe with a cloth. Repeat the process until all surface dirt has been removed.
Stamping lubricant can be removed using sandpaper and paper towels. Wet the sandpaper and wrap it around a bunched-up towel. Hold onto both ends of the towel so that the part stays in place while you wipe it clean. Rubber gloves are useful in preventing fingerprints. The method requires practice, but it gives a better result than other methods in certain instances. Solvent or cleaners can damage the surface of a metal part.
Using sandpaper or re-wipes is an effective cleaning method, removing dirt from the stamping part without causing damage.
Sandpaper is great for cleaning stains too.
Ammonia is an excellent environmental choice. Apply it to a cloth and simply wipe the piece clean. Wear gloves and goggles when using ammonia, and avoid getting it on your skin or in your eyes.
Ammonia is an environmentally friendly cleaner that cleans many types of lubricants and oils from metal parts.
Use Brake Cleaner
Brake cleaner is another good choice for cleaning stamping grease from metal parts, as it quickly removes the most lubricants and leaves a dry, clean surface. To use brake cleaner, spray it on the component and wipe it off with a cloth. Wear gloves and goggles when using ammonia, and avoid getting it on your skin or in your eyes.
Gasoline dissolves stamping lubricant quickly. Just pour a few drops on a rag and wipe down the part. Just remember, gasoline is a highly flammable fire hazard and must be used with caution. Good ventilation is important and must be practiced to prevent the buildup of vapors.
Kerosene can also clean stamping grease from metal parts. Use kerosene in the same way suggested for number six—gasoline.
Kerosene may be effective in removing ink and other stains from the metal’s surface.
Use Lighter Fluid
Lighter fluid is yet another solvent used to clean stamping grease off metal parts. Use lighter fluid following the same guidelines suggested for gasoline and kerosene.
Use a Welding Machine
Parts made of aluminum are easily cleaned using a welding machine to evaporate the lubricant using the heat generated by the welding machine. Do not overheat the stamping part, as it may damage the stamping surface.
The welding machine can also be used for steel and other metals, but it is most effective on aluminum.
One of the best ways to clean stamping grease off metal parts is to use steam or high pressure steam. Make sure not to use too much pressure or you could damage the component.
Use an Ultrasonic Cleaner
This is a device that uses high-frequency sound waves to strip grease off metal parts. The sound waves cause the lubricant to break down into tiny pieces and be flushed away.
Just place the part in the cleaner and turn it on. The cleaner will automatically create the correct level of heat and ultrasound required for cleaning.
The method you choose will depend on the type of stamping lubricant, the stamped part’s material, and the stamped part’s size. Select the grease removal method that is best suited to your needs. Regardless of method, it is crucial that you follow all safety instructions.