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Concept Evaluation of Visual Cleaning Performance Indicators (VCPI) for Real Time Cleaning Verification

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Final rept.

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SERDP, via this project, No. PP-1117, evaluated the concept of pollution prevention via the reduction of cleaning wastes by providing process operators with real time, in-process, visually-based, cleaning status indication using visual cleaning performance indication VCPI. Cleaning operations are a critical widespread element in the maintenance and repair of Department of Defense DoD and Department of Energy DOE weapon systems. Current cleaning performance verification procedures are slow, expensive, often limited to small areas, require highly skilled labor, and not normally suitable for real-time measurement. Under these circumstances, there usually is a tendency to overclean to reduce the frequency of depot and field processing failures associated with undercleaning. However, overcleaning increases waste volume production and waste-handling costs, consumes production time and capacity, and increases process raw material costs. Therefore, SERDP has funded this and other related efforts to identify better means to monitor DoD and DOE cleaning processes. This project successfully verified the VCPI concept, i.e. of using contaminant-selective dyes, which appear would meet ESO requirements, to color surface contaminants, with minimal changes in the current cleaning protocols, so that cleaning operators can better use surface visual appearance to control the cleaning operation in real time. This VCPI technique is projected to reduce cleaning process waste volumes, production times, raw material consumption, and processing costs. Only three 3 dye-CA coupling agent chemistries appear to be required for labeling a broad range of contaminants. Although the enclosed tests examined these three situations separately, the chemistries represented suggest that they can be combined into just one or two VCPI systems for further ease of deployment. Hence, future development should include testing combined dye-CA formulations against a broad range of contaminant types.

Subject Categories:

  • Coatings, Colorants and Finishes
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
  • Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control
  • Environmental Health and Safety

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