Industrial Rust Removal: Solvent vs. Manual Removal

We often think of rust (a.k.a. iron oxide) as primarily affecting iron alloys that are subjected to the elements, particularly oxygen and water. Car frames, sheet metal, and metal fixtures on objects such as telephone poles are prime examples of products that reinforce the view.

However, even equipment that’s never been outdoors can rust when the right conditions are present. Using stainless steel that shuns oxygen and moisture induced corrosion can help, but the best way to counteract rust is to create a work environment that doesn’t foster rust.

If this is impossible, and your equipment experiences rust, you have two option for removing the unsightly chemical reaction: using an industrial rust removal solvent or performing manual rust removal.

Solvent Rust Removal

The easiest way to remove rust is applying an industrial rust removal solvent, such as Rust Rip from Ecolink. Applying the solvent to a rusted area causes rust to flow away and leave the underlying metal rust-free. However, this option is best for rust accumulations that haven’t yet caused the metal to pit and allow rust to progress deeper in the structure.

If heavy pitting is present, rust will be removed and the pits left behind. Because pitting paves the way for further corrosion, the only way to restore the metal to its previously non-rusted state is to grind the surface until it is uniformly smooth. In some cases, rust that penetrates deeply makes this impossible. The dimensional stability of the metal has likely suffered, and it should be swapped out with a new product for the sake of safety and performance.

Manual Rust Removal

When rust progresses past the surface layer to a depth that makes rust removal solvent an inefficient option, manual rust removal is the option of choice. Using a special grinding pad or a sandblaster made for treating metal, the accumulation can be removed quickly.

However, you encounter one of the same results of using an industrial solvent: After grinding or sandblasting are finished, the surface is uneven, dipping in the place rust once occupied. Again, regulating the surface by making it uniformly even is a key to preventing further corrosion, preserving appearance, and supporting dimensional stability.

Need to Remove Rust?

If so, and the rust hasn’t progressed past the surface layer to cause prominent pitting, using an industrial rust removal solvent is usually the best option — and Rust Rip from Ecolink is one of the best solvent based, industrial rust removal solutions on the market.

Rust Rip causes thin accumulations of rust to disintegrate and flow away from the metal’s surface. You may need to mechanically treat the area where rust accumulated to make it homogenous with the rest of the metal’s appearance and corrosion resistance. If you remove causes of rust in the work environment, you may never need to remove rust from metal parts and equipment again, depending on the metal’s age and how it is used.

To learn more about Rust Rip and other industrial rust removal options from Ecolink, please call us today at 800-563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to helping you keep your business-critical equipment and parts rust-free!

1-bromopropane added to NTP

Safer Industrial Chemicals: When OSHA Does the Talking

Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hands out millions of dollars in fines to organizations across the U.S. for safety violations in the workplace. Among the possible violations is the use of toxic chemicals, or the failure to implement proper safety measures when using dangerous chemicals.

OSHA Chemical Safety Cases 

When we at Ecolink talk about using safer industrial chemicals, we often discuss benefits safer chemicals have for the short-term and long-term health of workers. Because we’re not a regulatory agency, we often stop short of discussing penalties that could result from not using safer industrial chemicals or more effective protective measures against chemical exposure.

However, while it’s our business to levy fines, the fines OSHA levies are public record, and deserve to be discussed to show the financial fallout that can result from companies violating OSHA chemical safety rules. Below are four recent cases that show how costly violations can be.

  1. Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC | Fine: $115,000

In summer 2016, the South Jersey polymer manufacturer was fined six figures for “three repeat and eight serious safety violations.”

In the official report, OSHA states, “Our inspectors focused on vinylidene fluoride, a liquified flammable gas, [which] poses serious safety and health risks to employees, including fire and explosion hazards, frostbite, skin and lung irritation, and liver damage associated with chronic exposures. An effective process safety management program is needed to protect workers and prevent the catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals.”

  1. PPG Industries | Fine: $92,642

In autumn 2016, the Louisiana-based chemical manufacturer was fined nearly six figures for “nine serious and two other violations”.

According to the official report, OSHA explains that, “The violations found… are disturbing. Not inspecting safety relief valves endangers workers and could have catastrophic consequences… This employer must take all necessary steps to correct these issues and take the safety of its workers seriously.”

  1. Harcros Chemicals Inc. | Fine: $80,000

In spring 2016, the chemical manufacturer received a nearly six-figure fine for “14 serious violations”.

From OSHA’s official report: “When highly hazardous chemicals are not properly controlled, there is a potential for unintentional release, which could result in serious health and safety implications for workers and the neighboring community… Companies that manufacture chemicals must thoroughly train workers and monitor procedures used in the process for needed changes.”

  1. Quest Diagnostics | Fine: $152,000

In summer 2016, Quest Diagnostics was find six figures for chemical hazard violations at a Shelton, Connecticut, location.

As OSHA’s official report explains, “A laboratory chemical hygiene plan is not a paper exercise. It’s a continuous ongoing process that is key to preventing employees from being sickened by the hazardous chemicals with which they work. Our inspection found several serious deficiencies concerning the Shelton laboratory. For the safety and health of its employees, Quest must ensure that correct and effective safeguards are in place and in use at all its laboratories.


When considering the potential cost of chemical safety violations, OSHA fines are just the beginning. There’s also sick days, workers compensation, chemical injury lawsuits, and damaged business to consider.

It should also be noted that OSHA fines organizations repeatedly, until they fix the cause(s) of the initial fine. In combination, these factors can truly decimate a bottom line and literally force the use of safer industrial chemicals and/or better protective measures.

The best way to avoid the multifarious financial drawbacks of toxic chemicals is using safer industrial chemicals. This is what we specialize in, helping organizations replace toxic solvents with ones that are just as powerful, have a better safety profile, and may even cost less. To inquire about our solutions, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form.



6 Steps for Choosing Solvent Options for Critical Cleaning

The term “critical cleaning” refers to cleaning procedures that are critical in some way to the success of the end user. For example, aerospace solvents are formulated to perform cleaning operations on aerospace machinery. Solvents not designed for the needs of aerospace equipment could make a critical difference in how the machinery performs, causing problems that range from engine trouble to slippery surfaces that result from solvent residue.

When companies and organizations evaluate solvent options for critical cleaning, it’s important to choose precisely the right solvent for the job, even if it requires ordering a custom, toll blended solvent. If your outfit is in the process of evaluating solvent options for critical cleaning, below are six steps that can help you choose the right solvent(s).

  1. Soil Accumulation

The first step for evaluating solvent options is identifying the type of soil(s) you need to remove. Taking this step significantly narrows your search, but you could still have hundreds of options. Taking the next step produces a more manageable list of options.

  1. Cleaning Surface

Step two is defining the type of surface you need to clean. Here, it’s important to be as specific as possible. For example, let’s say you need to clean 300 Series stainless steel. As you examine options, narrow them down to cleaners formulated for this particular type of steel.

  1. Cleaning Method

Defining the cleaning method also narrows your search. Will you use an enclosed parts washer, or perform cleaning in open air? If you’ll clean in open air, do you need to apply cleaner using wipes, aerosol, pump action spray, etc.? After making the determination, it’s time for step four.

  1. Solvent Flashpoint

If you’ll perform open air cleaning in an area that has heat sources that could ignite liquids, choosing a high-flashpoint or a non-flammable solvent is the safest option. Remember that energized equipment can also serve as source of ignition. If you need to clean energized equipment, be sure to select a solvent that has a robust, dielectric formulation.

  1. Solvent Residue

Residue is another solvent characteristic to consider. Depending on its consistency, residue could pose several problems, such as enhancing or impeding current through electrical contacts, attracting dirt and grime to contacts, and creating slippery surfaces that could cause slip and fall injuries. In almost all cases, solvent residue is undesirable.

  1. HAP Content

A solvent that contains hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) may not damage the surface you clean, but it can damage the health of workers who do the cleaning. Avoiding HAP solvents is also a good idea because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is likely to regulate them.

Contact Us About Solvent Options

When you evaluate solvent options for critical cleaning, it’s a good idea to speak with a solvent manufacturer that understands your needs. At Ecolink, we specialize in providing solvents for industrial cleaning operations that range from routine cleaning to critical cleaning that must be performed with a certain type of solvent using a specific procedure. In addition to supplying stock solvents, we also create custom solutions for unique needs.

To inquire about our products and services, call us today at (800) 563-1305 or fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to helping you choose solvent options for critical cleaning.


Better Solvents and Cleaning Agents: 4 Things to Consider

Does your organization need better solvents and cleaning agents? If the solvents you use are a good fit for your cleaning requirements, you may think the answer is no. However, efficacy is just one element that indicates a “good solvent”.

Before you order your next big supply of cleaning solvents, consider how the solutions fair in relation to the factors below. You may find that you have the opportunity to use better solvents and cleaning agents, after all.

  1. Flashpoint

Flashpoint is the temperature at which a solvent ignites, so you can deduce the benefits of using solvents that have a high flashpoint or are inflammable. Three benefits that immediately come to mind are: improved fire safety in the solvent storage area, reduced risk of fire-related injuries when using cleaning solvents, and the ability to use solvents in more types of work settings.

  1. Hazardous Air Pollutants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a list of restricted and banned chemicals called the List of Lists. Due to their volatility, many chemicals on the list are classified as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).

The List of Lists is lengthy, but it’s likely to grow considerably longer before it reaches a state of near completion. If your company uses solvents that contain HAPs that have yet to make the list, replacing them with safer solvents can help protect workers, and prevent the need to quickly replace a solvent that has a newly restricted chemical.

  1. Volatile Organic Compounds

Due to their toxicity and volatility, some volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are considered HAPs. However, VOCs needn’t fall under the umbrella of HAPs to cause negative health conditions in people who are exposed to VOC solvents. Acute ailments such as respiratory distress, upset stomach, and dizziness can occur when air contains a high density of non-toxic VOCs.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and air filtration systems that remove airborne contaminants from the work environment do a good job of mitigating the health risks, but the best option is to use solvents that contain no VOCs or have low levels of non-toxic VOCs.

  1. Recycling and Reusing

If your organization has diverse, industrial solvent needs, it likely uses a large volume of solvent. Using solvents that be recycled and reused (e.g., high boiling solvents for parts washers that perform solvent recovery) can reduce the need to purchase certain solvents. By extension, these solvents help lower your waste disposal bill. When they are used in a closed parts washing system, they can also reduce workers’ exposure to hazardous solvents.

Need Better Solvents and Cleaning Agents?

Depending on how your solvents stack up concerning the factors above, the answer may be yes. If so, Ecolink can supply stock or custom solvents that deliver the same cleaning power as your current cleaners, minus many of the negative characteristics.

To explore your options with us, check out our Products List, call us at (800) 563-1305, or use our contact form. We look forward to providing you with the chance to use alternative solvents that improve safety in the workplace and your company’s stewardship to the environment.