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Topic: Cleaning a Manifold  (Read 4528 times)

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Offline surbru

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Cleaning a Manifold
« on: July 02, 2009, 06:46:57 PM »
I have been working with my vacuum/inert gas manifold for a long time and it is TOTALLY gunked up with all kinds of organic solids, grease and god knows what else from years of use  :'(. I had to totally take it apart and now I am cleaning it. There are lots of parts that I cant reach with a brush and of course, those are the parts that have the most gunk. The manifold is too big to put in an acetone or base bath so i was wondering if you nice people have ever cleaned one or have a half decent method to remove most of this stuff
Thanks

Offline 408

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Re: Cleaning a Manifold
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2009, 09:29:10 PM »
Plug holes well and fill with base bath.  Works for me.

Offline Captain Sci

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Re: Cleaning a Manifold
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 06:50:23 AM »

I had the same problem when I was a PhD student. I spend several days cleaning it, drying it, greasing it, putting on brand new tubing etc, all in time for our supervisor's return from an overseas trip and his military laboratory inspection. Moments before he entered the laboratory I inserted the last piece of tubing on the 6th valve of my manifold, at which point the valve snapped and blood pressure rose to brainstroke alert levels.

To answer your question, unfortunately you would have to use a base bath from my experience. You will have to make a larger bath which can fit your manifold in, but be sure to properly assess the risks and to discuss this with your Health and Safety technician BEFORE you begin making the base. I would recommend using isopropyl alcohol instead of acetone, as it is less volatile and easier to contain. Also, use a mineral base - not ammonia. Be absolutely certain that you removed all plastic pieces before you immerse the manifold into the bath, and make sure you do not lose any pieces that you separate from the manifold during the cleaning process.

Last but not least - do not leave the manifold in the bath for an extended period of time. If the glass wears thin during the cleaning process your manifold may break under strong vacuum. Use a long wire brush (there should be some available from chemical suppliers) to clean up inaccessible bits.

Best wishes

Athan (PS - drop me an email if you need more specific advice or you have any concerns about putting your manifold together)

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