Although the cost per pound of fluorinated solvent can be higher, some studies have shown that the total system cost of water used in aqueous systems increases by as much as 30%. Waterborne equipment is bulky, expensive, and may require significant reconfiguration of space to install in your facility. Fluorinated solvents use vapor degreasers, which take up less space and require less energy due to their shorter cleaning and drying cycles.
Aqueous systems do not dry parts on their own and require post-processing such as infrared drying, which consumes additional energy and labor. They are known to leave water spots, so you must use deionization or reverse osmosis process to avoid them. Fluorinated solvents leave no water spots or residue; this cleaning method requires no additional steps.
When cleaning with water, heating the water is a critical step in ensuring that parts and assemblies are adequately cleaned. While fluorinated solvents also require heat, they have significantly lower boiling points than water and require less energy and time. The water system must also be carefully monitored during the cleaning cycle to ensure that the water level, pH, and soap concentration are maintained at the correct levels.
Fluorinated solvents are very stable and can be reused over and over again, reducing the cost of peruse. Water-based cleaners, on the other hand, require additional costs to recover and recycle water or manage waste oils.