In the operation of vacuum furnaces, the quench-gas heat-exchanger fins can become clogged with various debris and dirt that is very difficult to completely clean with standard pressure washing and other conventional methods. The clogged heat exchanger greatly impedes quench-gas flow, resulting in reduced work cooling rates.
Solar Atmospheres has developed a process that involves a 12-hour soak submerged in a suitable tub using a water-base cleaning agent. Recirculated forced waterjets wash out the accumulated dirt from deep inside the heat exchanger. It is then pressure washed and blown dry with nitrogen gas. The heat exchanger is cleaned to an as-new condition and then returned to the user.