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Design for Cleanability

If you want to reuse parts you need to identify whether they need to be cleaned and to what level.  This will depend on the product type and the nature of the components. 

There are 3 major types of contaminants:

  • particles (smaller than the unaided human eye can see)
  • inorganic chemical residue
  • dissolved organics & bacteria

These contaminants can affect electronic devices in three ways:

  • processing yield
  • performance
  • reliability

Design for Cleanability involves designing products or components that can be easily and quickly cleaned prior to reuse. Clean devices, low water retention, easy drying, no cleaning damage, and faster cleaning throughput are sought.

The extent to which components need cleaning will depend on the product type and nature of the components.

To assist in ensuring that products or components that are to be remanufactured or reused can be cleaned easily and quickly, designers should:

  • avoid creating unnecessary crevices and openings which make rinsing and drying difficult
  • select components carefully - certain connector types and insulated wires are not desirable
  • ensure appropriate materials which are compatible with cleaning methods are used:
    • for e.g. during aqueous cleaning, parts are exposed to hot deionised water during rinsing - cast aluminium A380 with a yellow chromate surface is not a good choice
    • chrome will be lost during the rinse.
  • consider the use of platings and coatings carefully:
    • smooth electro-less nickel plating and epoxy coatings clean, rinse, drain and dry well
    • a porous surface doesn’t
    • some coatings may erode when exposed to ultrasonic energy