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Trial Number 3

Trial Purpose:

To evaluate the effectiveness of a FAME + Methyl Lactate mixture in removing several production oils and greases from stainless steel coupons as a potential replacement for TCE using heated immersion.

Date Run:


Experiment Procedure:

Three stainless steel coupons were used for each of the five soils being tested for a total of 15 coupons.  The initial weights of each coupon were recorded. The bottom third of every coupon was soiled by applying the corresponding soil with a swab.  The dirty weights of each coupon were then recorded.  The coupons were then subjected to heated immersion cleaning in a solution of Fatty Acid Methyl Ester 93% + Ethyl Lactate 7% for 15 minutes at 130 F, with a stir bar set to 200 rpm.  After the coupons were cleaned, they were left to air dry overnight.  The next morning, the clean weights of each coupon were taken

Soil Use CAS
Milform OAK 7a International Stamping and drawing fluid 64742-53-6 / 68909-65-9
Milform Oak 529 Evaporative lubricant 68551-17-7 / 123-95-5 / 127087-87-0
Milform Oak 15a Metalworking oil 64742-44-5 / 64742-52-5 / 64742-55-8
Milform Oak 15c Metalworking oil 64742-52-5 / 64742-53-6 

Trial Results:

Solvent Substrate Soil Initial wt of cont. Final wt of cont. %Cont Removed % AVG % Overall
Fatty Acid methyl ester 93% + Ethyl lactate 7% Stainless Steel Oak 7a international 0.0436 0.0382 12.39 5.67 -23.57
Oak 7a international 0.0701 0.0710 -1.28
Oak 7a international 0.0711 0.0669 5.91
M4 0.9774 0.0732 92.51 87.95
M4 0.4029 0.0445 88.96
M4 0.3993 0.0703 82.39
Oak 15C 0.0755 0.1044 -38.28 -5.36
Oak 15C 0.0781 0.0613 21.51
Oak 15C 0.0880 0.0874 0.68
Oak 15A 0.1857 0.0645 65.27 65.94
Oak 15A 0.1610 0.0560 65.22
Oak 15A 0.1818 0.0594 67.33
Oak 529 0.0381 0.0545 -43.04 -272.07
Oak 529 0.0192 0.1843 -859.90
Oak 529 0.0264 0.0035 86.74

After being allowed to air dry over night, it was observed that the coupons were still completely wet the next morning.  The FAME + Methyl Lactate solution was unable to air dry, which is reflected in these measurements.  In some cases, a larger amount of cleaner remained on the coupon than the amount of soil it removed, leading to a heavier clean weight than dirty weight for particular coupons.

Success Rating:

Results successful using TACT (time, agitation, concentration, and temperature, as well as rinsing and drying) and/or other cleaning chemistries examined.


In the application of heated immersion with an air drying overnight period, Fatty Acid Methyl Ester 93% + Methyl Lactate 7% was not an effective cleaner for removing production oil and grease.  In future testing, a drying step may be needed to gather more accurate measurements.

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