Oxygen cleaning services involve specialized cleaning for components, piping, equipment, and systems that produce, store, distribute, and use liquid oxygen (LOX) and gaseous oxygen (GOX).
LOX is the liquid form of elemental oxygen (O2). Examples of industries that utilize LOX systems include military and defense (NASA), aerospace, and the compressed gas industry.
Oxygen cleaning services are essential for both safety and product purity. Oxygen cleaning helps decrease contaminants that could result in a fire or potential explosion. It also reduces the chance of autoignition at a much lower temperature than what is expected by material selection.
Combustion in systems consists of enriched oxygen and only needs fuel and an ignition source since the gaseous or liquid oxygen is the oxidizer.
System and Equipment Experience
- LOX and GOX Piping and Hoses
- Product and Distribution Piping
- Process and storage tanks
- Spools, coils, and Nozzles
- Heat Exchangers
- Valves and gauges
- Clean in Place (CIP)
- Vessels and tanks
- Tubing, hoses
- Components and Hardware
- ASTM G-93 (Standard Practice)
- ASTM F-311, F-312, F-331 (Testing Standards)
- NFPA 99C
- ANSI B 40
- CGA G-4.1 (Compressed Gas Association)
- PraxAir GS-38
- MSFC Spec 164
- IEST-STD-CC-1246 revisions D & E
- Many Individual Private Industry & Government Specifications
- Aerospace, Military & Defense
- Medical Device
- Heath Care
- Food & Beverage
- Power Generation
- Mining & Metals
- Household & Personal Care
- Chemical Manufacturing & Distribution
O2 cleaning was always done quickly. Great service and great people!
Project Manager, Mechanical Contractor for HVAC And Plumbing Systems, MA
Types of Contaminants Removed in Oxygen Cleaning
The main aim of precision cleaning for oxygen service is to eliminate any material, chemical, contaminant, residue, or particulate matter that can encourage combustion or affect product purity.
Contaminants could be classified into three categories, per ASTM G93.
1. Organic Compounds
- Grease and oils (Hydrocarbon-based)
- Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
2. Inorganic Compounds
- Mineral acids and solvents
- Water-based detergents and cutting oils
- Particles, lint, and fibers
- Weld slag and metal grindings or filings from fabrication
Oxygen equipment and systems, such as all components and parts, should be cleaned to eliminate detrimental contamination before introducing oxygen. An instance of this is hydrocarbon-based residue.
These are frequently composed of small amounts of oils and greases, utilized generally in manufacturing environments, and then end up on the surfaces of newly produced hardware.
When a hydrocarbon-based residue gets in touch with a strong oxidizer and an enriched oxygen atmosphere, the temperature at which it will ignite and burn is reduced—sometimes very low and it will catch fire at or below room temperature.
If a fire ignites, several oxygen molecules in the immediate area cause it to burn hotter and faster than usual, so much so that it might cause an explosion.
Astro Pak : Cleaning for Oxygen Service - Narrated
Video Credit: Astro Pak Corporation
The other contaminant of concern is the particulate matter. These could travel in a gas stream inside a pipe or tube. In an oxygen-enriched atmosphere, particularly under high pressure, things that generally are not considered flammable might catch fire and burn.
The only need is a spark. If particles are traveling with the gas stream and strike the pipe or tube wall with sufficient velocity, a small hot spot might develop.
Furthermore, if the particle seems metallic, a spark might even occur. In either case, contaminants in the pipe, or even the wall of the pipe itself, might catch fire.
This could lead to a rupture in the pipe, discharging high-pressure gas and endangering everything in the area. High-pressure gas ruptures are explosions, and it is not rare for shrapnel to be propelled for some distance.
Oxygen-enriched environments constructed using certain alloys (stainless steel) need combustible organic and particulate contamination removal and an optimal passive surface, offering corrosion resistance. A passive layer surface will curb oxidation and corrosive reactions, reducing particulate contamination.
Astro Pak utilizes approved chemistries and cleaning processes to offer certification to fulfill multiple ozone and oxygen piping system specifications, such as gas system cleaning and verification and aerospace launch facility LOX. Technical cleanliness verification with analytical techniques is an integral part of oxygen cleaning service protocols from Astro Pak.
Astro Pak oxygen cleaning services comply with internationally identified published standards like CGA G-4.1, Cleaning of Equipment for Oxygen Service. This standard explains the cleaning methods and needs for equipment that are utilized in the production, distribution, storage, and usage of liquid and gaseous oxygen to decrease the risk of explosion, fire, or promotion of combustion.
Cleaning in line with this publication is needed for all surfaces in contact with a gas or liquid with an oxygen concentration greater than 23.5%.
Where are the Oxygen Cleaning Services Performed?
Precision oxygen cleaning services could be executed on-site at client facilities and Astro Pak shop locations or an Astro Pak cleanroom facility.
On-Site or Shop Oxygen Cleaning Services
It is possible to execute oxygen cleaning services on-site at client facilities for pre-operational or operational systems in any of the subsequent designated system types and at any stage in the development of the system:
- Pre-commissioning of new construction
- Maintenance and shut-downs could be performed
Cleaning a component or a system for oxygen service eliminates combustible contaminants like hot work, surface residue from manufacturing and processing (M&P), and assembly operations. It also prevents recontamination before or during final assembly, installation, and use.
Oxygen cleaning services for system parts involve hoses, piping, tubing, and other equipment available on-site at the client’s facility. Alternatively, such cleaning services are available for components and equipment at one of Astro Pak’s nationwide shop locations.