Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Centrifuge Pellet Accelerator
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) developed a centrifuge pellet accelerator system which can clean and strip without the use of solvents. Instead, the system uses CO2 pellets to reduce waste, minimize damage to the item being cleaned, and enhance the cleaning performance.
The centrifuge pellet accelerator (Figure 2-1) system has many advantages over a compressed air system. The centrifuge pellet accelerator system is portable, contains no oil contaminants, and does not require hoses or air compressors. By reaching speeds of over 450 meters per second, the CO2 pellets enhance the cleaning and stripping processes. Narrow velocity spreads make the velocity more controllable which creates a uniform process and reduces possible damage by eliminating pellets that are too fast and pellets that are too slow to effectively perform the task. In addition, the centrifuge pellet accelerator system only needs a 15 hp motor to accomplish the same job as a 150 hp compressed air system.
ORNL has successfully demonstrated its centrifuge pellet accelerator system in the following applications: cleaning plastic molds; cleaning industrial textiles without damage; cleaning diamond impregnated grinding wheels; removing epoxy paint from F-15 aircraft skin; removing oxide layers from various metals; deburring small stainless steel tubing; and the controlled deformation of large aluminum sheets. Presently, the centrifuge pellet accelerator system works more efficiently in high temperature environments versus low temperature environments which could limit its versatility. However, in controlled environments, the system performs at a world-class level and has potential applications in many industries. These applications include paint stripping, cleaning, decontamination, surface preparation, deburring metal surfaces, and cleaning plastic molds.
Figure 2-1. Centrifuge Pellet Accelerator
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