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Trial Number 5

Trial Purpose:

Evaluating additional cleaners for removal of reed wax.

Date Run:


Experiment Procedure:

Four cleaners were selected based on the results from the successful previous trial. A fifth cleaner was added based on client request. All five solutions were used at full strength. Four products were heated to 140 F on a hot plate and the fifth, Uni-Clear, was heated to 100F in a heated water bath (due to its low flash point of 140 F).
Fifteen preweighed coupons were coated with the supplied Reed wax. The wax was heated with a hot air gun and a moderate layer was added to the coupon. These coupons were then allowed to cool to room temperature and weighed again. Three coupons were immersed in each of the cleaners. Observations were made at 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 45 minutes. After the final observation, the coupons were rinsed in DI water and dried using air blow off. Coupons were then weighed a final time and percent efficiencies were calculated for each cleaner.

Trial Results:

Of the five products evaluated, only two removed over 85% of the wax from the coupons.  The Buckeye Shopmaster RC removed 88% and the Universal Photonics Uni-Clear removed 99.97%. The other three removed less than 5% of the wax.  Table 1 lists the efficiencies for each cleaner and coupon.

Table 1.  Cleaning Efficiencies           

  Shopmaster Safe Strip DBE-4 590 S Uni-Clear
Coupon 1 94.71 2.18 1.08 1.36 100.00
Coupon 2 91.48 1.38 -2.30 2.62 100.02
Coupon 3 77.49 2.08 0.12 5.70 99.89
Ave 87.89 1.88 -0.37 3.23 99.97
Std Dev 9.15 0.44 1.74 2.23 0.07

Despite the low efficiency, DuPont’s DBE-4 showed signs of altering the wax during the 45 minute cleaning. The cleaning chemistry softened the wax during the first 5 minutes of cleaning. By 30 minutes, the wax was sliding down the coupons and gathering at the bottom. Table 2 lists the observations made during the 45 minutes of cleaning.

Table 2. Observations

Times Shopmaster Safe Strip DBE-4 590 S Uni-Clear
5 very soft-dissolving Slightly soft very soft-dissolving no change good dissolving
10 good dissolving 50% gone some dissolving good softening little softening almost all clean
15 coming off in clumps no change some dissolving no change 1 all clean
20 80% gone no change sliding down no change little remaining
30 very soft, most gone okay softer darker color all gone after 25 min
45 clumps floating at top no change no change no change n/a

Success Rating:

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


Shopmaster RC and Uni-Clear were very successful in removing the wax.  Uni-Clear will be further evaluated for cleaning the Crystalbond 590.

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