Washing with solvents other then IPA/TPM for ultrasonic cleaner


I was wondering if I can use other solvents such as salt water or mineral oil to post-wash the part in a ultrasonic cleaner, after first washing with IPA/TPM.

I am trying to print a part with Elastic 50A that has long complicated channels. However, because the viscosity of Elastic 50A is too high, it is too hard to clean the channels properly. Even if I washed the channels with IPA additionally using a syringe, there were always some residuals that feel like half-cured resin on the walls of the channels that can only be partially removed with high pressure air and occasionally block the channel.

After many trials, I arrived to the way of just using a ultrasonic cleaner. However, because some resins, including Elastic 50A, swell when they are in IPA/TPM for a long time, the ultrasonic cleaner couldn’t work quite well with a short wash time. I tried washing using 20kHz sonicator with IPA for 10 min, after first washing the part using FormWash with IPA and removing the supports, while following a NASA tech brief paper on ultrasonic cleaning using volatile solvents.

From the Formlabs Solvent Compatibility Materials, there are some 'solvent’s that are not absorbed to the parts, such as salt water or mineral oil. I’m sure that these "solvent"s are just meaning liquids, and not a proper tool to wash a part, but they seem like a good combination when used with a ultrasonic cleaner.

If I can use the ultrasonic cleaner with a long wash time using a solvent that does not swell the parts, after washing the parts with IPA/TPM first, that will really save my time and my health (because I wash the channels with a syringe, while submerging the part and my hand in IPA), and prevent destroying the parts.

Is there anyone that have tried ultrasonic cleaning with other liquids instead of IPA/TPM? Or any information about the non-swelling solvents working with Elastic 50A resin?

Thank you for the interest.

Hi @bhsong,

Thank you for getting in touch! This is an interesting question, and it seems reasonable to me that you’d be able to get away with washing parts for longer periods of time when using liquids/solvents that the parts do not absorb as quickly. For a more specific answer, aside from performing this testing on your own, it may also be worthwhile to get in touch with Support. They would be able to check with our Materials team to determine if we’ve done any further testing or have any other insight on this use case.

I’d be interested in this as well, if you get an answer back from support please share with us!

Get some proper chemical gloves so you don’t destroy your hands and health. That’s what I’ve done.

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Thank you for the concern. I am currently using nitrile gloves while dealing with IPA, but I will try to change it to a more protective gloves.

If you’re curious, I’ve been using a pair of Ansell AlphaTec 29-865 that have excellent resistance to chemicals.

Thank you. I’ll try those right away.

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