Substrate
Solvent cleaning*
Intermediate cleaning
Chemical treatment or “other”
Aluminum
Chlorinated solvent, ketone, or mineral spirits**
Detergent scrub
Sulfuric (96%) acid /sodium dichromate (77.8/22.2-pbw) solution at 25°C for 20 min; rinse with tap water followed by distilled water, dry for 30 min at 70°C
Beryllium/copper
Chlorinated solvent, ketone, or mineral spirits**
Wet-abrasive blast
Copper
Chlorinated solvent, ketone, or mineral spirits**
Dry abrasion or wire brushing
Nitric (69%) acid/ferric chloride/distilled water (12.4/6.2/81.4-pbw) solution at 21 to 32°C for 1 to 2 min; rinse in tap water followed by distilled water; dry at 65°C maximum
Steel (stainless)
Chlorinated or aromatic solvent**
Heavy-duty alkaline cleaner
Nitric (69%) acid/distilled water (20/80-pbw) solution at 21 to 32°C for 25 to 35 min; rinse with tap water followed by distilled water; dry at 65°C maximum
Steel (mild)
Same as stainless
Same as stainless
Ethyl alcohol (denatured)/orthophosphoric (85%) acid (66.7/33.3-pbw) solution at 60°C for 10 min; rinse in tap water followed by distilled water; dry for 60 min at 120°C
Titanium, titanium alloys
Ketone or aromatic solvent
Mild alkaline cleaner or wet- abrasive scour
Nitric (69%) acid/hydrofluoric (60%) acid/distilled water (28.8/3.4/67.8 pbw) solution at 38 to 52°C for 10 to 15 min; rinse with tap water followed by distilled water ; dry 15 min at 71 to 82°C; brush off carbon residue with nylon brush while rinsing
Ceramic
Ketone solvent
Sulfuric (96%) acid/sodium dichromate/distilled water (96.6/1.7/1.7 pbw) at 20°C for 15 min; rinse with tap water followed by distilled water; dry at 65°C maximum
* Immerse, spray, or wipe
** Or vapor degrease with chlorinated solvents
Source: Ellsworth Adhesives, Germantown, Wis.

This technique will improve bonding when applied to almost any substrate. It is easy to confirm the surface is clean without complex equipment or procedures. Verification by wiping with a white cloth, for example, is often enough.

Solvent on a white cloth is the first line of attack for removing oils, grease, and mold-release agents. Surfaces should get a thorough cleaning until the cloth no longer picks up dirt or oils. Otherwise residual contamination can be forced into the surface, reducing the effectiveness of treatments to follow.

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