Think Clean Blog

Validating CO2 Tech Performance

Posted by Amanda Bunch on Apr 25, 2018 1:09:22 PM

Question: How do you know when something works really well?

Answer: When its performance can be validated in several different ways.

This holds true for CO2 technology. There are numerous ways to qualify the performance of our CO2 technology in your manufacturing operations.  For example, the following are just a few example metrological techniques that demonstrate how CO2 technology can be validated.




Product Cleanliness

Particles and Residues

Surface and substrate contamination such as flux residues, organics, particulate matter, outgassing residues, ionic residues, and laser and mechanical machining heat is addressed (uniquely) with this technology. Available CO2 processes include one or a combination of composite jet sprays, centrifugal liquid immersion, supercritical fluid extraction, and both vacuum and atmospheric plasma surface treatments.


Product Performance

Bond Strength and Surface Roughness

Advanced carbon dioxide (CO2) spray cleaning technology provides various methods for consistently preparing surfaces for bonding operations. Numerous spray, immersion, and plasma CO2 treatments are available which may be combined with advanced collaborative robotics. The inherent adaptability, performance, and economy of CO2 technology provides numerous and varying manufacturing benefits.

A non-contact surface analysis device and technique called Optically Stimulated Electron Emission (OSEE) is used to analyze surfaces to determine surface quality levels before and after CO2 spray cleaning. OSEE surface inspection technology is a great way to validate CO2 Composite Spray™ for surface preparation. This process is most suited for analyzing metallic surfaces. For most metallic surfaces, the cleaner the surface the higher the OSEE photocurrent measured. OSEE can measure inorganic as well as organic contamination present on surfaces. Using OSEE before and after cleaning with CO2 composite spray is an excellent analytical and SPC technique for bonding processes, among other manufacturing processes.



Process Performance

Adaptability and Productivity

CO2 technology eliminates or significantly reduces both lean and green waste generation at the production operation level (source) by modifying manufacturing processes such as precision cleaning and machining. Because it is safe and dry, CO2 technology can integrate directly into manufacturing processes and tools to provide in-situ cleaning and/or thermal control. CO2 technology can be implemented in a variety of process configurations to meet the constraints of lean production layouts and product flow requirements, including direct integration into existing production lines and equipment where the surface contamination is being generated. CO2 is a safe and abundant compound that plays a very important role in many commercial and industrial applications. CO2 can be used in cleaning, cooling and machining applications. Many companies have implemented CO2-based cleaning technology and have realized improved productivity and a lower cost-of-operation of their production operations.

CO2 CleanTech represents a significant business opportunity to adapt production tools and operations to meet the challenges. The merging of green practices such as CO2 technology into manufacturing is delivering additional value in the form of less chemical, energy, labor, and water usage as well as the elimination of solid wastes, air and water pollution.




Specialized Metrology

Compatibility and Sterility

CO2 technology can be used as a solid, liquid, supercritical fluid, and both atmospheric and low-pressure plasma. CO2 is useful as a spray treatment agent, immersion and extraction solvent, as well as in the form of many hybrid or combinational substrate processing possibilities. Applications include precision degreasing, departiculation, outgassing, precision drying, disinfection, surface modification and functionalization, cooling and lubrication, among many others.






Ready for next steps? Try our free CO2 Consultation.


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Topics: Surface Preparation, CO2 Cleaning, CO2 Precision Cleaning, contamination control, CO2 Composite Spray, CO2 Technology, CO2 Testing, CO2 Analysis, OSEE

3 Ways To Use CO2 Immersion

Posted by Amanda Bunch on Mar 12, 2018 8:31:00 AM

Precision cleaning requires CO2 technology that provides improved performance, productivity, environmental quality and economics, all while adapting to rapidly evolving device manufacturing technology. CO2 technology has been used primarily as a means for increasing the cleanliness of components, assemblies, tools and fixtures to increase both capacity and quality. However, arguably more significant, CO2 technology has proven itself to be a means for reducing the cost and improving the productivity of manufacturing high volume and high reliability products. In response to new manufacturing pressures, solvent-based cleaning processes have re-emerged to prevent malfunctions in high-reliability or high-power applications, necessitating a green process solution.

A precision cleaning technology called centrifugal CO2 cleaning combines unique centrifugal dry washing and rinsing processes using specially formulated high-boiling solvents such as citrus terpenes and paraffins with recycled carbon dioxide in a tunable cleaning solvent system.

Let's look at the 3 ways CO2 immersion is used and tested.






1. Precision Cleaning

Precision cleaning trends caused a change in solvent cleaning practices in the 1990's. New environmental concerns and legislative agendas regarding climate change, water and energy conservation shaped the new precision cleaning imperatives for the future. Complex devices such as flip-chip assemblies, disk drives, parts with micro-machined features, composite materials, bioabsorbable polymers, and partially assembled devices had a cleaning need that could not be solved with traditional methods.

In the early 1990s, the first generation Centrifugal CO2 cleaning systems were introduced as an alternative to ozone-depleting substances. This process was adopted faster for high-tech industrial applications. This new process proved to be as good or better than comparable cleaning processes and overcame weak solvent power. Centrifugal CO2 cleaning technology provided significant improvements in productivity, environmental quality, and cost of ownership of their precision cleaning operations.

Liquid CO2 is more suited as a solvent for less complex contamination but very effective for penetrating complex substrate geometries. CO2 is also an excellent drying or rinsing agent (as a solvent) for more powerful washing agents such as a high-boiling solvent (HBS). Using this unique solvent scheme, a range of wash-rinse cohesion energies, solvent powers, viscosities and surface tensions can be employed to address many different types of challenging (and more general) device cleaning applications. CO2 technology offers manufacturers, component suppliers and assembly equipment OEMs new techniques to retool their factories and equipment for clean production.

2. Outgassing - Extraction

For outgas cleaning involving certain polymers and applications, an optimal vacuum degas step is employed to remove residual adsorbed CO2 gas. All CO2 process fluids are automatically transferred and recovered using an integrated fluids management and recycling subsystem.

Centrifugal CO2 systems combine centrifugation, ultrasonics, exclusive CO2-expanded and/or optional O3-loaded prewash agents, liquid carbon dioxide, and optional downstream plasma post-processing with energy-efficient fluids recycling and reuse in a single system.  This system is the most capable precision cleaning platform available today and uses only environmentally safe and non-toxic cleaning agents. The parts washing chamber is a top-loading basket centrifuge with a manual or automatic closure.  The system includes fluids distillation, re-circulating spray-under-immersion, and clean fluid storage.  


3. Reusable CO2

The CO2 expanded HBS wash system separates, cleans and recovers carbon dioxide, HBS and contaminants using phase separation and microfiltration. The recovered CO2 is transferred into both the gross rinse tank and final rinse tank for reuse. The system is capable of recovering more than 95% of the CO2 for reuse. Centrifugal CO2 cleaning is a great substitute for traditional solvent and aqueous processes with bio-based agents reduces pollution, conserves energy and eliminates manufacturing wastes.


Why Centrifugal CO2 Immersion Cleaning?

1. Fully developed cleaning technology that provides a number of unique process benefits.

2. 100% dry cleaning (and rinsing).

3. Bio-based cleaning chemistries.

4. Extremely low surface tensions and viscosities.

5. Solvent cleaning power control.

6. Reduces waste generation and operational costs by eliminating the need for water, waste-water treatment, water recycling and drying with a smaller footprint.

7. Environmental safety and lower energy demand.

8. Develops unique cleaning solutions for the most demanding substrate-contaminant combinations.


Ready for next steps? Try our free CO2 Consultation.


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Topics: Surface Preparation, CO2 Cleaning, CO2 Precision Cleaning, CO2 Immersion, CO2 Composite Spray, CO2 Technology, Centrifugal CO2

5 Tips For Maximizing Your CO2 Rental

Posted by Amanda Bunch on Jan 24, 2018 1:39:49 PM

CleanLogix offers, through its reseller partner Clean Imagineering, CO2 composite spray cleaning equipment rentals.  Renting provides the opportunity to test-drive our CO2 spray cleaning technology in the lab or on the production floor before you consider moving to the next step.  Develop proprietary cleaning processes for your parts cleaning applications confidentially in your own facility. 

Renting our equipment helps to create internal support and development of a CO2 champion that will insure successful adoption – from lab to production floor.  Invite your production, quality, environmental, and procurement associates to understand the mechanics and benefits of this technology.

The CleanLogix technical team is available to help you successfully develop your proprietary cleaning application and to understand the elements needed for production-scale equipment using the cleaning process you have developed.

Let's look at 5 tips to better maximize a CO2 composite spray equipment rental and ensure a productive and enjoyable testing experience.




1. Try Before You Buy

Most people test drive a vehicle before they buy. So why not test drive our CO2 technology before you purchase a system? The main benefits of renting are the small initial investment, ability to test various applications in-house, and discounts off the purchase price. 

Companies do not adopt new equipment and processes without testing first.  In this regard, CleanLogix offers two ways to achieve this: 1) In-house sample parts and analysis and 2) Cleaning equipment rentals. 

Renting can be the best way for companies to adopt new technology, allowing the lead process development engineer to demonstrate efficacy and benefits directly to all interested departments and colleagues.  Our team can work with you develop a test plan that provides the best chance of success.  Indeed, we have found that many of our customer success stories started with a rental for on-site R&D tests before making the transition to purchasing a system. Practice makes perfect and renting can determine the perfect product to meet your company's needs.

2. Get Consulted


With over 30 years of experience in the CO2 technology field, our team is ready to provide you with all the guidance you need to be successful in using our CO2 rental equipment. This program works well, particularly if you are new to the technology or have used different CO2 technology in the past.

The CO2 consultation program provides an introduction of CleanLogix, our various CO2 technologies, and commercial products we offer.  The consultation is a platform for us to learn about your cleaning challenges and what we think might help you.  Customers who engage with our team before renting or buying have a higher success rate than those that go into the process blindly and execute solo. All consultations are free, so why not take advantage!

A typical consultation takes between 45-60 minutes. We will cover a brief background of CleanLogix and then focus on your application.  Our discussion will range from your current cleaning application and challenges, to potential CO2 cleaning and contamination control options.  Specialty areas include build-clean and surface preparation for bonding applications. 

To get an idea of how the meeting will go, following are a few of our questions:

“Please tell us about your cleaning application and what you are looking to achieve using our CO2 technology?”

“Please tell us a little about your current cleaning system and process?”

“Do you have an active budget for this project?”

"How soon are you looking to solve your cleaning problem?”

“Now that we have heard about and understand your cleaning application and cleanliness challenge, we will provide a detailed recommendation as a follow-up.”

“Here are what probable next steps should be based on your timing and budget.”

We are here to help you be successful using CO2 technology. We want your experience with our company to be informative, actionable, and a return on your investment.

3. Plan for Success

To achieve any goal you must have a plan that guides you to the desired result. The main reason customers seek our technology is because they are looking to solve a problem that cannot be solved productivity or economically using an alternative technology, for example aqueous cleaning.  As evidenced by our global partnership with Hitachi High-Tech, we are recognized experts in CO2 precision cleaning and pride ourselves on having the most experience and knowledge as compared to our competitors.  Over the past 30 years, we have solved hundreds of unique cleaning problems for companies representing nearly every precision product manufacturing market and industry.

We collaborate with our partner Clean Imagineering ( who specializes in laboratory samples testing, rentals, demos and testing/analysis. We don’t ship you the system and say good luck! Before you begin your trials you will be given a test plan, operation and maintenance manual, and a Quick-Start operations set-up training video. In addition, you have the option to have Clean Imagineering test samples in-house and provide you with a concise test and analysis report.  We want you to be completely informed and confidant that the system you want to rent will resolve your cleaning challenge.  The CleanLogix and Clean Imagineering teams are here to answer your questions and work through any issues step by step.

Below is an example test plan and analytical report:

The sample test plan outlines the procedure - both cleaning and analytical testing - that will be performed for your application. If it is decided during the consultation that the testing should be performed by our in-house laboratory team, we will provide you with a final laboratory report in conjunction with the plan.

4. Apply What You Have Learned

If we achieve success during in-house test trials (yes, it worked!) now what? It would be beneficial to perform a simulated production line or tool test using our rental equipment. Step 1 validates efficacy of our cleaning technology with regards to your application and Step 2 validates that this cleaning technology will perform in production (with proper scale-up and facilities).  If the demo equipment trial meets and/or exceeds expectations then our scaled production systems will do even better.

However, with that said it is important to keep in mind that the rental systems have limited capacity and are used systems. If the qualification gets to the point of production trial, then it would be the time to start looking into purchasing a production capable system.

5. Take Credit

Rentals are loaned out for one to three months at a time. Make the best use of your rental time to decide if this technology works for your application. One of the greatest advantages for renting before buying is that if you rent a unit for a minimum of two months, you will be credited the two month rental fees off the total purchase price.

Renting allows a potential customer to test the technology in a short time period with little investment and provides the qualitative results to procure a purchase approval.



Ready for next steps? Try our free CO2  Consultation.


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Topics: Surface Preparation, CO2 Cleaning, CO2 Precision Cleaning, CO2 Composite Spray, CO2 Technology, CO2 Rentals, Rent2Clean

The CO2 Cleaning Story

Posted by Amanda Bunch on Dec 11, 2017 9:24:01 AM

Ever wonder how precision cleaning using CO2 got started? How did a natural gas like CO2 get turned into a high tech cleaning process for the Aerospace, Medical, Optical, Microelectronic and Hard Disk Drive markets? Several important factors have influenced and ignited the need for cleanliness in manufacturing such as concern for the environment, economic competitiveness and technology.



1990's CFC Phase-Out

Alternative Precision Cleaning

According to Mark Skaer in an article entitled The 1990s: The Decade of Refrigerant Chaos - and Change, "The 1990's was termed decade of refrigerant chaos and change. Cooling was a hot and heavy subject debated throughout the entire world this past decade. The original protocol called for a 50% reduction in chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) chemical production by 1998. The refrigerants used in well over 95% of the world’s systems were to be eventually phased out during the decade of the 90s. Engineers, wholesalers, contractors, and mechanics were all affected. So were system manufacturers, chemical producers, and component manufacturers (theNews,"

Similarly, in the 1990s manufacturers of industrial and commercial products were also significantly impacted by the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) phase-out, and in particular the use of CFCs in precision cleaning processes.  During this time, alternative precision cleaning practices (new and old, wet and dry) were widely investigated. Many manufacturing companies were looking for a cleaning replacement that did not affect ozone depletion, maximized energy efficiency and had recycling practices. 

CO2 was considered an alternative method due to many attractive properties enabling its use as a cleaning agent. New dry cleaning alternatives emerged, including centrifugal liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) degreasing, CO2 snow, CO2 composite spray, laser and plasma. However, due to the maturity, widespread availability, and knowledge of aqueous cleaning equipment and processes at the time, industry predominantly changed to wet (aqueous) cleaning practices.

Aqueous cleaning did resolve the immediate cleaning problem however, with it came a vast amount of costs: equipment maintenance, bath monitoring and maintenance, drying processes, deionized water production, wastewater management, rust and corrosion prevention, larger factory space utilization and increased labor burden. Product designs and assembly procedures suitable for CFC cleaning processes required transformation to overcome aqueous cleaning constraints such as water entrapment, drying and potential corrosion. There was also an increased piece part cleaning and drying operations prior to assembly. Therefore, the quick fix proved to be costly and manufacturers were open to looking at other technologies that cleaned as good or better than aqueous processes at lower production costs.


New Dry Cleaning

Using CO2 to clean

CO2 performed in many ways similar to dry CFC solvent spray processes and could clean applications such as optical assemblies, wire bonded assemblies, sensors and data storage devices. These markets were some of the first commercial applications CO2 technology could clean with success and could present cost savings to compete with wet processes. CO2 composite sprays are unlike other snow guns in that the sprays are relatively lean and warm with much smaller fractions of microscopic CO2 particles uniformly dispersed in a heated propellant gas, which creates better surface preparation. In these instances, wet processes could not be considered due to material compatibility, cleaning efficacy or assembly procedure constraints.

More recently, companies are concerning themselves with sustainability.  They are under pressure to reduce manufacturing wastes, improve productivity, lower production costs, achieve zero discharge of pollutants into the environment, and maximize water conversion.  As such, there is a need for leaner and greener methods of cleaning during manufacturing.

However, conflicts exist between the "green and lean" manufacturing model with wet cleaning practices.  For example, wet practices use a lot of energy and space.  Also, water resource availability has supplanted upper atmospheric ozone depletion concerns and is a major issue in many manufacturing sectors.

Since the 1990s, precision cleaning with CO2 has demonstrated significant cost-of-ownership, environmental, and performance benefits compared to conventional aqueous and solvent-based alternatives.  CO2 Composite Spray™ technology has evolved and emerged as a mature and bullet-proof precision cleaning technique.  This spray technology offered today provides a significant manufacturing waste reduction strategy and an attractive return-on-investment.  Many manufacturing companies are implementing CO2 composite spray cleaning technology within their production operations, attracted by its many attractive features, benefits, and integration possibilities.

CO2 Composite Spray Evolution Timeline

CO2 composite spray technology was invented and patented by David Jackson, President and CEO of CleanLogix LLC, in the early 1990s.  Since that time, we have steadily evolved and improved the technology.  The latest version of the technology, Vector Pro™, provides the highest performance and best economy to date, and is the foundation for countless precision cleaning and hard machining opportunities in the manufacturing industry.  The spray quality and efficiency of our Vector Pro spray technology has journeyed far from the initial Snow Spray technologies of the 90’s.  CO2 composite sprays are highly stable and provide adjustable cleaning capacity.  


Ready for next steps? Try our free CO2 Consultation.


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Topics: Manufacturing Wastes, CO2 Cleaning, CO2 Precision Cleaning, CO2 Immersion, CO2 Composite Spray, CO2 Technology

3 Ways To Use CO2 Composite Spray

Posted by Amanda Bunch on Nov 6, 2017 12:31:50 PM

Looking for a new way to precision clean your application?

Precision cleaning with CO2 provides significant cost-of-ownership, environmental and performance benefits. Precision cleaning is an important component of a contamination control program that includes product handling and packaging, controlled environments, ESD control, and proper operator practices.



CO2 Spray Cleaning

Alternative Precision Cleaning

First generation CO2 spray cleaning alternatives were introduced in the 1990s and found early adoption in applications involving specialized devices such as optical assemblies, wire bonded assemblies, sensors, and data storage devices. Companies are always trying to reduce manufacturing waste, improve productivity, lower production costs, achieve zero discharge of pollutants into the environment and maximize water conservation. The current industry "green" need was in conflict with wet cleaning practices and thus the need for dry cleaning technology emerged.

CO2 composite spray is neither a snow gun nor spray nozzle, but rather a system of several integrated components and processes for forming and applying a spray cleaning composition. CO2 composite spray provides a stable and consistent surface cleaning performance. This technology aides in elmination of water usage and wastewater, a lower carbon footprint, and improved worker safety.


Application and Performance

Versatile Technology

A CO2 composite spray process is similar to conventional CO2 pellet or ice blasting used in industrial cleaning applications, but on a smaller and more precise scale. CO2 composite sprays are relatively lean and warm with much smaller fractions of microscopic CO2 particles uniformly dispersed in a heated propellant gas. The heated propellant gas mixes with the cold CO2 particles to produce an increase in thrust. The result is a highly energetic cleaning spray that does not cause surfaces to become wet during application. COcomposite spray may also be also be used with other cleaning process additives such as atmospheric plasma, laser, and trace organic compounds to provide a robust surface treatment platform.

Applications using this technology are automotive, aircraft, aerospace, computer hard disk drive and medical device markets. The adoption of CO2 composite spray has been proven for applications where both cleanliness and production objectives must be achieved.

CO2 Composite Spray can be applied three ways:

1. Precision Clean - combines the cleaning (or cooling) power of microscopic crystals of solid carbon dioxide with patented coaxial jet spray cleaning processes to effectively remove contaminants (i.e., particles, thin films, heat) from the exterior or exposed surfaces of a product (or tool).

2. Cool Lubrication - utilize various combinations ionized fluids, oxygenated machining lubricants (Triox™) and CO2 – formulated and applied in-situ and as-needed to improve the productivity and economics of challenging machining applications.

3. Surface Preparation - appropriate surface preparation is the essential first step to provide consistent and reliable adhesive or cohesive bond strength. Major bonding elements comprise substrate, adhesive, bondline surface area and (for adhesive joining) joint design.

New Generation Technology

Back To The Future

In the latest evolution of the CO2 composite spray technology, CO2 is converted into a supersaturated fluid and crystallized using a patented micronizing process to form energetic and microscopic CO2 particles having 2x higher density when compared to the 1990s spray. Precision cleaning with CO2 provides significant cost-ownership, environmental, and performance benefits compared to conventional aqueous and solvent-based alternatives.

Many manufacturing companies are implementing CO2 composite spray cleaning technology within their production operations due to the technology's featues, benefits and integration possibilities.

Ready for next steps? Try our free CO2 Consultation.


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Topics: CO2 Cleaning, CO2 Precision Cleaning, CO2 Composite Spray, CO2 Technology

CO2 Tech Pioneers

We set the bar

For over the past 30 years, CleanLogix LLC has been the forerunner of CO2 technology exploring all facets and propelling technological evolutions. Our technology portfolio is the only of its kind, offering a breath and depth of CO2 spray, immersion and particle-plasma patents that has in turn created multiple product platforms.


  • Over 30 years experience
  • CO2 eliminates manufacturing wastes
  • CO2 is the solution for your contamination challenges


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