CO2 Based Cleaning of Porous Metal Substrates for Medical Devices


Precision cleaning of high value products has become more critical as products have become smaller and more complex. Traditional cleaning technologies such as aqueous and solvent based systems are increasingly not able to meet these new cleaning challenges. Carbon dioxide (CO2) based cleaning systems, along with adjunct technologies such as ultrasonics, environmentally friendly pre-solvents, and atmospheric plasma, are proving to emerge as the solution for these demanding cleaning challenges.

CO2 based cleaning technology is faster, cheaper, and of better quality than traditional cleaning methods. Systems can be designed to clean hundreds of parts in a 45 minute cycle time, or thousands of parts per day in a continuous robotic cleaning cell. In a paper jointly published by Western Digital and Cool Clean Technologies, the fully burdened cost of cleaning hard disk drive components in a clean room environment was cited at 12-13 cents per part for deionized water and 1-6 cents per part for CO2. Finally, the surface tension and viscosity of CO2 allow it to enter very small openings or crevices where water or solvents simply cannot reach—thus making CO2 an enabling cleaning technology for these complex parts.  

CO2 based cleaning technology is faster, cheaper, and of better quality than traditional cleaning methods.


Porous metal products are used in numerous components manufactured in many industries such as automotive, process technology, and medical device manufacturing. Cleaning of these substrates presents a difficult challenge due to the very fine microstructure and varying depths of the product. For medical device manufacturing of orthopedic components, these cleaning challenges are magnified because of the very stringent cleaning specifications required to allow the bone to grow into the porous metal structure (see Figure 1). Typical cleaning methodologies include multi-step ultrasonic process cleaning using both solvents and water, followed by an additional drying process. Cool Clean Technologies, the leader in CO2 Based Precision Cleaning and Surface Preparation technology, successfully processes porous titanium and other high value metal substrates with complex geometries for the medical industry using the Enertia™ cleaning system.


Enertia™ is a CO2 based closed loop batch cleaning system designed to remove a wide range of organic, inorganic, and particulate matter residues from components with complex geometries in a single step. The cleaning ability of the Enertia process is derived from a combination of the unique solvent cleaning power of environmentally friendly solvents, the physical cleaning action of centrifugal fluid shear, ultrasonic agitation, and spray jet cleaning. Enertia combines an innovative cleaning system with an integrated CO2 recycling and purification system to provide fast and energy-efficient cleaning.

... to continue reading you must be subscribed

Subscribe Today

Paywall Asset Header Graphic

To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.

Please wait...