The Center for Heat Treating Excellence at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute is conducting a research program to characterize, evaluate and remove surface contamination from pre- and post-heat-treated parts. Surface contamination during heat treatment can greatly affect the quality of the end products. Although cleaning the post-heat-treated parts is considered a value-added process in heat treatment, pre-heat-treated parts cleaning is also important and can influence the subsequent process dramatically. This project will characterize different surface contaminants and will identify the process and the chemistry of cleaning.

The objectives of this project are to:
  • Characterize and classify the type of surface contaminations that occur with processes used upstream of heat treating
  • Characterize and classify the type of surface contaminations that occur following quenching
  • Identify/develop a method or test procedure to reliably evaluate and quantify surface "cleanliness"
  • Develop techniques that will lead to improvements in surface cleanliness, surface-cleaning equipment design and in the development and use of alternative (green and cost-effective) cleaning fluids and processes